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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent at the Aero in Santa Monica

Earlier this month The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica screened two of director Alfred Hitchcock’s early black and white masterpieces, Strangers on a Train and The Lady Vanishes. They have another celluloid beauty they’ve been saving for the end of the month, the superior espionage film, Foreign Correspondent.

When one thinks of Hitchcock one usually thinks of big splashy Technicolor spectacles like Vertigo and North by Northwest. Even when you do mention black and white and Hitchcock in the same sentence it’s usually Psycho that springs to mind. Somehow Hitchcock’s earlier work tends to be overlooked by the masses, and you can just forget about his silent films. I guess it’s only natural since the man was responsible for so many of the most iconic films ever made. It’s a lot like Billy Wilder - with so many great titles to his credit the early ones tend to go under appreciated. Well here’s a great opportunity to see what you’ve been missing. And if you’re already aware of the charms of this rarely screened gem then I know you’re not going to want to miss your chance to see Foreign Correspondent on the big screen.

Not only is it gorgeously shot, and wonderfully directed, but there’s a great story line too. Like many of Hitchcock’s early B&W films the plot is full of international intrigue. As the title suggests the film centers around the Foreign Correspondent of an American newspaper. With the advent of World War II looming, an editor at a New York paper decides to send ace action reporter (Joel McCrea) to cover the events brewing in Europe. While there McCrea is suppose to track down the facts behind a secret treaty between two unknown countries set up by a famous diplomat. Of course things end up being far more treacherous than they appear, and soon McCrea becomes deeply involved in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, culminating with a spectacular plane crash at sea. With so many twists and turns Foreign Correspondent is sure to satisfy the heart of any true Hitchcock fan, and make a devotee of the uninitiated.

The exceptional cast includes Herbert Marshall who co-stars as the experienced diplomat McCrea turns to for advise, a lovely Laraine Day as the witty young love interest, and George Sanders as a rakish figure who may or may not be what he seems. And you most certainly don’t want to miss the usually lovable Edmund Gwenn (Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street) in the most dastardly role the little old man ever played.

Foreign Correspondent is playing at The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, 1328 Montana Ave. Wed, March 28 at 7:30p. General Admission is $11.00. Cinematheque Members pay just $7.00 and Seniors 65+ & Students with valid ID get in for $9.00. Click the image to the left for more info and tickets.

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