Button Obsession from Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940)

"Tell him about your name and the two F's!"

My family and I have always loved a good mystery/thriller, so it's is rather obvious that some of our favorites are Hitchcock's. Charade, To Catch a Thief, Rebecca, Rear Window, etc, are great ones but are you familiar with Foreign Correspondent?

Johnny makes a daring discover.


Johnny Jones is an American reporter who is chosen by his editor to go to Europe in hopes that he will find out more about the tremulous times than his other foreign correspondents. Not knowing a thing about war correspondence, Johnny accepts the job with obvious candor, only regretting his new name, Huntley Haverstock. He soon meets some very important people but other than riling a lovely member of the peace campaign, he gets practically nowhere. But when an important political member is murdered right in front of him, he is hot on the trail to finding out who is behind it. He soon finds the situation more complicated and involved than he expected when news turns up on those he wouldn't have suspected.

Johnny endeavoring to find out about the political situation from a reluctant source.

Joel McCrea plays the part of Johnny Jones, Laraine Day (the only temporary) irate peace member, and George Sanders a British reporter by the name of ffolliot (and no, I did not forget to capitalize the first letter). The three of them make up an excellent team of suspense and comedy, whose quips are often quoted in our family.

Recently we were watching this again (can't go too long without watching it) and while enjoying the "well-known" story I spotted a fashionable piece that I had not seen before.

Three inch buttons on her overcoat.

Laraine Day wears a heavy woolen overcoat with outrageous buttons! Can you see them? I saw them and squeaked with delight. My family was hardly surprised when I began taking screenshots for this post.

As usual, I was hard-pressed to get a good shot of this outfit. There's another good shot in the next scene but the time in which to get it is so small, and the quality only so-so, that I gave up.

"Don't mind if they tell you my name is Huntley Haverstock, because it's really Jones."

Her style at this point in the movie seemed to denote to me an innocent air. The collar is typical of the period but matched with this hat, though absolutely lovely, seems to give off a feeling of youth, as though she were rather ignorant. Now whether this was the intentions of the costume designers or not, I wouldn't know, but I can see why it would be a good thing at this point.

Later as the situation heats up, her style becomes a little more professional, though subtly, like in the picture at the very top.

Have you seen this Hitchcock before? What do you think of it? What do you think about her incredible buttons?! Let me know in the comments below!

Here are a few more posts featuring buttons, The Woolen Skirt... With Buttons! and The Mod Party. I sometimes wonder if there is anyone else who likes buttons as much as I do...

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