39 Steps (1935).

steps-picAnother Hitchcock masterwork, starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carrol.

This movie seemed that bit more superior than The Lady Vanishes. The tension was more evident, and I cared a little more about the characters. Robert Donat shines as always when he plays the role of protagonist Richard Hannay, a Canadian who gets unfairly embroiled in espionage after a spy is killed and he is blamed for her murder. He goes on the run with an attractive blonde woman, Pamela.

Robert Donat is one of my favourite actors because he at first seems to be little more than the stereotypical romantic hero but as a character he quickly proves his worth and wants to clear his name of the murder he is accused of.

Madeleine Carrol’s Pamela was the beginning of the Hitchcock Blonde.
hitch_39Very pretty, but cinematically she offers little. Hitchcock makes her the object of male gaze, but gives her little else to do, apart from be handcuffed to Robert Donat!
A pulpy story, this film is entertaining but it is not on the same level as Hitchcock’s later work from the 1950s and 1960s.

MY RATING: *** / *****






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