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Showing posts with the label The 39 Steps

Slow March to War: An Advance Review of PBS' "The 39 Steps" on "Masterpiece Classic"

Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 thriller The 39 Steps took the action of John Buchan's World War I espionage novel and transported it forward in time to the 1930s, where the world was on the brink of yet another global war. As with Buchan's novel, Hitchcock's 39 Steps traced the steps taken by reluctant hero and former spy Richard Hannay as he receives a coded message from a spy who dies in his London apartment and who then finds himself enmeshed in a dangerous conspiracy that puts his life and that of everyone he comes in contact with in jeopardy. The film, while a gripping masterpiece of intrigue and suspense, took several liberties with the underlying material and a new version of The 39 Steps --starring Spooks ' Rupert Penry-Jones--goes back to the source material to craft a new adaptation that is much more in line with Buchan's original novel than Hitchcock's film. Penry-Jones plays Hannay with the pitch-perfect combination of world-weariness and glinting adr