1944       2nd World War adventure



    [ a v e n t u r e   m a l g a c h e : m o v i e  r e v i e w ]

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    Rated: pg

      The second of the two wartime shorts that Alfred Hitchcock made for the Ministry of Information was prompted by the feuding between the Free French who had worked on the first, Bon Voyage. Co-scripting with Angus MacPhail, Hitch introduced a note of levity that was unusual for propaganda films of the time to help encourage co-operation between partisans of all regional, personal and political persuasions. Yet the anecdote told by an exiled amateur actor about his Resistance activities against the Vichy regime on Madagascar didn't meet with the approval of Whitehall, and the film was never shown.

      In French with English subtitles.

    Is it worth seeing?

      Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache are, if truth be told, little more than an interesting diversion. Of the two, it's Bon Voyage that is clearly the more accomplished, with a plot that holds the interest of the viewer, some decent characterisation and a genuinely shocking moment (the murder of Jeanne). Even though it's presented in French, Bon Voyage is an entertaining film and well worth a look.

      The same, unfortunately, cannot be said of Aventure Malgache, which has to be the most tedious 35 minutes in the entire Hitchcock canon. There is no suspense, no involvement in the activities of the characters and a plot so limp it's barely noticeable.

      Although it was conceived as part of the war effort, Aventure Malgache was never screened, as it would be unlikely to inspire acts of heroism from anybody. However, it's a great shame that Bon Voyage was never used to promote its 'careless talk costs lives' message, as it gets its point across economically and effectively.

      Both films are available on one dvd from our new UK Online Hitch Store. Details of this particular title are here.

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