Wednesday, 15 December 2010

THE 39 STEPS (1935)

A few weeks ago I had a whole evening of watching vintage Hitchcock films on DVD. I viewed THE THIRTY NINE STEPS, THE LADY VANISHES and SABOTAGE. The films - particularly the first two - hold up very well although to be fair virtually any Hitchcock film can be safely revisited without fear of boredom. It is difficult to choose a favourite out of STEPS or LADY as both are excellent entertainments packed with both adventure and humour (a recent re-reading of the original 1915 STEPS novel by John Buchan convinced me that the plot devised for the Hitchcock film is vastly more exciting than the original story which, for me is the weakest of the four novels featuring Richard Hannay). A chance meeting with an old friend from the 70's alerted me to the fact that a group of film enthusiasts known as the White Bus Company were screening Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS in darkest Westcliff. Seeing the film again on a big (or biggish) screen with an appreciative audience was a real treat. The White Bus crowd are a friendly bunch who love movies, preserve them and screen them. As for the film itself, it easily stands up to many viewings and hardly needs to be discussed here except it deserves its reputation as one of the truly great British films and the performances by the entire cast are excellent with only superlatives being good enough for the stars - Robert Donat and Madeline Carroll. Rating *****


wellyousaythat© said...

If it were a chilly sunday and i'd got back from a sunday roast at the pub there is no film i would rather watch.
Still don't know what causes pip in poultry though

Cerpts said...

Splendid splendid film. Although I risk charges of blasphemy by stating I am also a (lesser)fan of the Robert Powell version.