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Alfred Hitchcock: The Shape of Suspense

Friday, April 19, 2013
9:00 p.m. Foreign Correspondent
Alfred Hitchcock (U.S., 1940)

Made while an officially neutral United States was watching World War II engulf Europe, Foreign Correspondent stars Joel McCrea as an apolitical reporter assigned to gather news from the “bedeviled continent.” Our clueless correspondent is drawn into an international plot filled with dangerous doubles: a camera is a gun, a bodyguard is a killer, a sanctuary is a trap, and a famous advocate for peace actually seeks its opposite. The shifting of identities extends to the film itself, as what begins as adventuresome entertainment ends with an impassioned message to America delivered over a soundtrack of falling bombs and the Star Spangled Banner. None other than Josef Goebbels called it “a masterpiece of propaganda.”

—Juliet Clark

• Written by Charles Bennett, Joan Harrison, James Hilton, Robert Benchley, Ben Hecht. Photographed by Rudolph Maté. With Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders. (120 mins, B&W, 35mm, From Caidin Trust c/o Film Trustee, IPMA Inc.)