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ORSON WELLES MERCURY THEATER THRILLER 'JOURNEY INTO FEAR'

Orson Welles & Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR Year 1943 rating ****

An entertaining, lightweight suspense yarn about a passive arms dealer... who ironically has never fired a gun... stuck on a cargo ship where there lurks a clandestine Nazi out to kill him...

Joseph Cotten stars as the hunted pawn who, having left loyal wife Ruth Warrick ashore, is reluctantly sent aboard with dancer Dolores Del Rio and meets various passengers including a Turkish tobacco dealer, a slick gambler and a German businessman. It's not hard figuring out who the main heavy is, but it doesn't matter...

Mystery Actress with Joseph Cotten & Everette Sloane from Journey into Fear

It's great seeing the CITIZEN KANE acting trio of Cotten now in the lead, Everett Sloane an exposition-spouting go-between and Orson Welles as a cool and slick Turkish Captain (plus Warrick, again the better half)...

Overall the cadence is loose with a terrific building rooftop shootout/climax involving the villain's ruthless hit man (played by Welles's real life manager, Jack Moss). And to prove Welles was only the producer, here's a quote from the man himself when asked if he himself secretly directed, like most movie historians think, and claim...

Orson Welles in JOURNEY INTO FEAR

"Never at any time." Welles stated. "I produced it and Jo Cotten and I wrote the script, based on Eric Amber's novel: The director was Norman Foster, who was a great friend of mine... I wasn’t even in the country for most of the picture," Welles said (from the book THIS IS ORSON WELLES with Peter Bogdanovich interviewing). "I was only there for three weeks. But I did the sets and I supervised the planning of the way it was going to be done."

Like with THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, studio henchmen chose their own flurry of edits (while Welles was filming the wartime propaganda IT'S ALL TRUE). At one point a character is shown after he's been killed... according to Welles. And while not completely Film Noir, JOURNEY INTO FEAR has the pulse of an old school adventure-programmer narrowed into a tight little suspense/thriller, and should keep you on your toes.

Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR aka Voyage au pays de la peur
Everette Sloane, Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles in Journey into Fear
Eustace Wyatt, Joseph Cotten and Jack Moss in JOURNEY INTO FEAR
Orson Welles's real life agent Jack Moss takes a killer role in JOURNEY INTO FEAR
Dolores Del Rio in JOURNEY INTO FEAR aka Calatorie în tara groazei aka Estambul
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Everette Sloane aka Farlig medpassagerare
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Orson Welles aka Utazás a félelembe
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR aka Terrore sul Mar Nero aka Пътуване в страх
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Dolores Del Rio aka Jornada de terror
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Jack Durant and Frank Readick
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Eustace Wyatt aka Von Agenten gejagt
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Podróż do krainy strachu
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Jack Durant aka Путешествие в страх
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR aka Voyage dans l'épouvante aka Estambul
Joseph Cotten in JOURNEY INTO FEAR with Eustace Wyatt and Jack Moss and Ruth Warrick
JOURNEY INTO FEAR after decades of imports it's now on HDTV from TCM

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