Glenn Anders wrote:Yes, purplepines, as it stands, JOURNEY INTO FEAR is "lightweight." Welles said as much later about the film. You might remember though that it was suggested by Eric Ambler's novel, one of the best pioneer international spy thrillers, an inspiration to Graham Greene and probably to Welles himself. Welles and Joseph Cotton considered the picture to be what Greene came to call "an entertainment," like Brighton Rock, a piece of candy or scoop of sorbet to clear the palate for more heavy stuff (like THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS or The Power and the Glory). And what Welles liked most about the film, the philosophical arguments and asides concerning democracy and fascism, were mostly cut out by RKO, a process continued in THE STRANGER, and to some extent in his subsequent pictures.
What remains of Welles' JOURNEY INTO FEAR is a story of intrigue about an innocent American engineer traveling with his wife (originally an English crime novelist, a bachelor) abroad. But Ambler's basic premise, established in The Mask of Dimitrios (possibly, the basis of MR. ARKADIN) -- that what counted in the realm of international politics and finance was not the assassin but who paid for his bullets -- that was lost.
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