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The 39 Steps (Re-Release)
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Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Godfrey Tearle, Lucie Mannheim, Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie, Wylie Watson, Helen Haye
When shots are fired in the auditorium during a performance at a London music hall, Canadian holidaymaker Richard Hannay (Donat) finds himself fleeing the scene with a woman who claims to be a spy, who tells him a garbled story about military secrets, a Scottish village and the mysterious ‘39 steps’. Later that night the woman is murdered with Hannay’s knife, and our hero becomes the first in a long line of Hitchcockian innocents on the run. The great director plays fast and loose with the plot of John Buchan’s original novel to take us on a tense, thrilling and at times hilarious chase – pursued by the police, menaced by gunmen, and handcuffed to a beautiful woman who is distinctly unimpressed. This masterful work is perhaps the best known of Hitch’s British-made films, with themes and set pieces that look forward to NORTH BY NORTHWEST.