Journey into Fear

Welles's fingerprints are all over this eccentric, enjoyable adaptation of an Eric Ambler World War II spy thriller revolving around smuggling munitions into Turkey. Welles co-wrote the screenplay with Joseph Cotten, produced, and contributed to the visual quality of the film, with its brilliant atmospheric touches and extreme camera angles in cinematography by Karl Struss. The opening shot of an obese Nazi agent in a seedy hotel room playing a scratchy phonograph record sets the mood (he's not Welles, but we can't help thinking ahead to Hank Quinlan). Then, there's a gratuitous magician, like a signature, and Dolores Del Rio (Welles's paramour) in a cat suit, a nice joke. Welles's Colonel Haki is a brilliant mumbler, can't tell which side he's on; and Cotten's American naval munitions engineer is all innocence abroad, trailing death in his international wake as the price on his head gets higher on a terror ship to nowhere.
—Judy Bloch

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.