Sometimes, New York Post columnists go on to change the world.
Virginia Hall wrote for this paper during WWII, while she was also a heroic spy who worked in France for the British and US governments — recruiting resistance fighters, helping downed Allied pilots and organizing jailbreaks. She even blew up a few bridges, could speak five languages, slash an enemy in the throat with a knife and was responsible for killing 170 Germans and capturing 800 more.
She was branded “the most dangerous of all Allied spies,” but the Gestapo nicknamed her the “limping lady” on account of her wooden leg, which Baltimore-born Hall named Cuthbert.
Now she is the subject of a new IFC Film “A Call To Spy,” which tells the story of her and other women who were recruited by Winston Churchill and trained as spies, ultimately helping to topple the Nazis.
In one of our favorite scenes, Hall is questioned at a checkpoint by a police officer and proudly claims that she writes for The Post, securing her freedom. In 1941, then 35 and living in London after Paris had surrendered, she sent a cable to a friend who worked at The Post offering to send dispatches, and she was hired. Her role as a reporter in France for The Post was a perfect cover for her work as a spy.
A VIP online screening of the film, out now on demand, arranged by the Cinema Society’s Andrew Saffir drew VIPs including Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Steve McQueen, Brooke Shields, Joy Behar, Calvin Klein and Christie Brinkley.
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