Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Night Cinema

This Week: The 39 Steps
Starring: Robert Donat,Madeline Carroll with Peggy Ashcroft
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

This is one of my all time favorite movies. It has one of my favorite movie themes SPIES!

Set in London, but mostly Scotland.
Richard Hannay is suspected of a murder of which he is innocent. He flees to Scotland in search of a man in which to impart information from the spy who was killed in his apartment.
There are chases on a train and on a moor. There is a girl and handcuffs. There are sheep. There is humor, there is suspense. There are Scottish stereotypes and a man who is missing a finger!
I don't know why but the scenes on the moor seem oddly real to me considering this is a 75 year old film.
The scenes at the inn make me giggle. Stockings, they are so innocent yet risque. Handcuffs, surprisingly convenient.
Each time I see the train chase sequence I think how fun it would be if someone remade this film in the style of the Bourne films. Then I realize that what makes this film so great is the setting, the times and Hitchcock's brilliant camera work. A remake would try to distinguish itself and ruin what is great about this film.

This an old movie some of the DVD distributions out there are not so hot. If you rent this movie and the sound is spotty and the picture a little grainy just bear with it. If you buy the film, read the reviews and buy the expensive version, they say it is worth it in picture and sound quality.
The film was inspired by a short story of the same name by John Buchan. I have read the story and I liked it. Overall the book is similar but the 39 steps are actual, real, honest to goodness steps in the story and there isn't a love interest either. This is one time when I like the movie better!

7 out of 7 thimbles


Shawnel said...

WOW! 7 out of 7. It must be good. I cant believe that I haven't seen it, since Dad used to make us watch just about every black and white movie ever!

grandmawhitehouse said...

The three best movies ever are 1st Les Miserables 193? version, 2nd Forrest Gump, teaches lots of good lessons we should live by (if you missed them, better watch again).
3rd and nudging out the others because of the presence of our equine friends) is Lonesome Dove (if you don't cry like a school girl in this you have no heart).