Friday, September 24, 2010

1935 - THE 39 STEPS, Hitchcock's masterpiece of entertainment

Kicking the quality level back up after the last 5 posts with this classic comedy/thriller from Alfred Hitchcock. 

Not much I can add rewatching this film.  Robert Donat, as Hanney the man on the run from spies and the police is perfect.  Madeline Carroll, now considered the first of Hitchock's "cool blonds" matches him almost as well.  Hitchcock was always labeled as a director who didn't like working with actors to get performances, but it's pretty clear he was in sync with Donat and Carroll.  They set the standard for this kind of thriller for years to come. 

One of the things Hitchcock liked about The 39 Steps was how fast paced the film was.  It certainly rushes along from one clever situation to another, the political rally, the encounter with the head of the enemy spy ring, and in one of his cleverest touches the character Mr. Memory. 

Hitchcock's visual inventiveness is on display throughout the film but never at the expense of the actors or the story.

This film is considered a classic for very good reason

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