Alfred Hitchcock's Bon Voyage & Aventure Malgache (1944)
Front Cover Actor
John Blythe
Movie Details
Genre Classic; Drama
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Language English
Audience Rating NR (Not Rated)
Running Time 100 mins
Country USA
Color Color
While Alfred Hitchcock made several well-known wartime films with intrigue and ambiguous love themes at their core (Saboteur, Notorious), he also made a pair of far less familiar works: two French-language propaganda shorts, Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache. The two rarely screened works were actually official productions of the British Ministry of Information, designed as tributes to the Resistance movement against the occupying Nazi forces in France. Hitchcock was paid a token fee, but they were really a labor of love for him. Despite that, Bon Voyage received limited play in France and Aventure Malgache was shelved completely by the Brits. Neither movie played in America. It's easy to see why: Bon Voyage, the better of the two, concerns a Royal Air Force gunner whose escape from a German prison is aided by a fellow fugitive he has only just met, and by a succession of Resistance workers who help him get out of the country. Interrogated back in London, the officer discovers he was actually an unwitting dupe whose flight helped the Germans locate and destroy key links in the underground organization.

Equally bleak, Aventure Malgache is a complex, swiftly paced remembrance by a French actor about the duplicity of Vichy collaborators in French-controlled Madagascar. The narrator, making himself up to play his own life in a staged version of past events he describes, was imprisoned by the Vichy government for his Resistance tactics. In essence, the film is about dissension among the French people when it comes to dealing with the Germans. It's a little hard to imagine why Hitchcock would have thought these two morally shaded stories would bolster freedom-fighting spirits. But they each have elements that resonate deliciously with his career-long pet obsessions and themes. Bon Voyage, particularly, is of interest as the tale of an innocent man who unwittingly crosses the line into culpability for evil, a moral murkiness that is key to many Hitchcock films from The Lodger through Frenzy. As a piece of the legacy of one of the most important filmmakers in history, this rare double bill is well worth the visit. --Tom Keogh

Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Index 52
In Collection Yes
Product Details
Format DVD
Region Region 1
UPC 014381419023
Release Date 1998
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Extra Features
Black & White