The 39 steps 1935 analysis is the film a masterpiece. Jan 15, 2008 the best loved of alfred hitchcocks early british films and perhaps the ripest target for parody, the 39 steps set the mold for the directors many thrillers about innocent men embroiled in. There have been four major film versions of scottish author john buchans 1915 thriller the thirtynine steps but the best of the quartet is alfred hitchcocks marvellously inventive 1935 thriller. Then he meets agent annabella smith lucie mannheim, who is soon killed in his apartment. It is very loosely based on the 1915 adventure novel the thirtynine steps by john buchan. The 39 steps 1935 analysis is the film a masterpiece or. A british film guide 2003 by mark glancy, pages 8182 the. The chemistry and repartee between the two is something that has been copied countless times since. The thirtynine steps is an adventure novel by the scottish author john buchan. A british film guide 2003 by mark glancy, pages 3839 although not named, presumably the town is the ironically named killin that appears on miss annabella smiths map. This dvd provides a newly restored transfer, new critical audio commentary on the film, and supplemen. The 39 steps is hitchcocks most purely enjoyable movie. However, the 39 steps also is the embodiment of the highs that his films would reach.
The 39 steps isnt a very complex story, and hitchcock knows this he also knows the way a film is presented can be equally important to the actual story being told. It is adapted from the novel the thirtynine steps by john buchan. The 39 steps all the roles in the play are performed by four actors. Sets pieces and actors became other things in order to portray items and situations that cannot easily be represented on stage. She claims to have uncovered a plot to steal vital british military secrets, implemented by a man who is the head of an espionage organization called the 39 steps. Important places, moments of suspense, hints at romance, and the ahha moment are all present in the following four observations. The 39 steps 1935 is one of the earlier alfred hitchcock british spychase suspensethrillers from a vintage period, his 18th film.
The 39 steps analysis paper alfred hitchcocks adaptation of the 39 steps is representative of his characteristic film noir style. Considered his first real masterpiece, it is both a crowdpleasing boxoffice success and an extremely influential film that brought the famed director attention from us audiences. The 39 steps, british suspense film, released in 1935, that helped establish alfred hitchcock as one of the leading directors in the genre and employed themes that became hallmarks of his movies. The 39 steps has the classic hitchcockian theme of an average, innocent man caught up in extraordinary events which are quite beyond his control.
In the thirtynine steps, buchan holds up richard hannay as an example to his readers of an ordinary man who puts his countrys interests before his own safety. The next day, hannay wakes up to find her dead, stabbed with a knife. As ample consolation, we still have the 39 steps of 1935, an evergreen film that fulfills the writer john buchans own definition of romantic adventure. As the police take hannay into custody, he shouts out a question. Richard hannay is the protagonist of the book, and it is through his eyes and ears that we experience the. Nov 24, 2011 the 39 steps was my first hitchcock film. The story is about an english man named richard hannay, who is plunged into. The 39 steps 1935 the miseenscene of the 39 steps serves to lay out the skeleton of the film if everything else were removed. The 39 steps is a very crowdpleasing film, it has a lightning quick pace, charming leads, an intriguing story, and some fun directorial flourishes from the master of suspense. The 39 steps, made in 1935, has the all the classic elements of the master filmmaker that set the standard for later hitchcock films. Told in the firstperson, the thirtynine steps draws the reader into the mind of richard hannay, an expatriate scot who, after living in the british colony of rhodesia in africa, is now is in london. A suspenseful adaptation of john buchans thriller the 39 steps, about former intelligence officer richard hannay, whos pursued by the police in the weeks leading up to wwi for a murder he didn.
The occasion of the 100th anniversary of alfred hitchcocks birth rewards us with a new release of one of his greatest films, the 39 steps 1935. Study guide for the thirtynine steps novel the thirtynine steps novel study guide contains a biography of john buchan, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. A british film guide 2003 by mark glancy, page 39 the 39 steps. The wrong man scenario is one that alfred hitchcock not only seemed to be obsessed with, but one that he made his own. The hero is richard hannay fresh from rhodesia, part of the british empire. The 39 steps, in many ways, shows how much hitchcock improves as a filmmaker in mastering cinematic techniques. Hitchcock uses specific elements of miseenscene to enhance the plot of the 39 steps, meanwhile classifying the film as under the film noir genre. When choosing the best of his wrong man, theres no doubt that his 1935 adaptation of john buchans the 39 steps would at least reside near that top.
Scudder, constantine karolides, sir harry, sir walter bullivant, and the black stone richard hannay is the main character. This study guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of the thirtynine steps. The 39 steps alfred hitchcock 1935 the wrong man scenario is one that alfred hitchcock not only seemed to be obsessed with, but one that he made his own. With that, he flexes his formatting muscles and creates an intriguing film based on little plot. There, she tells him that she is a spy, being chased by assassins out to kill her. Pamela is major character in the 39 steps 1935 and was played by actress madeleine carroll one of the concerns that hitchcock and gaumontbritish had about john buchans source novel was its lack of female characters and the risk that a film adaptation would be regarded as a boys own adventure with little appeal to the majority female audience. When john buchan wrote the thirtynine steps, he could not have imagined that it would revolutionize suspense fiction. The 39 steps is a 1935 british thriller film directed by alfred hitchcock and starring robert donat and madeleine carroll. Nov 28, 2016 the 39 steps 1935 alfred hitchcock film robert donat, madeleine carroll and lucie mannheim feature thriller, drama. The 39 steps is a 1935 thriller film directed by alfred hitchcock and starring robert donat and madeleine carroll. The 39 steps contains every single legendary scene from the awardwinning movie including the chase on the flying scotsman, the escape on the forth bridge, the first theatrical biplane crash ever staged and the sensational deathdefying finale in the london palladium. I saw it when i was about, with a moviebuff uncle on a battered old blackandwhite tv set, on a trip to india. The characters in the thirtynine steps are richard hannay, franklin p.
Hannay is not only on the run from police but is also trying to find out the nature of the potential national security breach to clear his name. All he knows from the dead woman is that it has something to do with a man in a small town in scotland, another man who has part of his pinky finger missing, and the 39 steps. The thirtynine steps has been adapted for film and tv including alfred hitchcocks 1935 film. It is essentially a thriller with an element of political subterfuge. Jul 14, 2016 one of hitchcocks black and white gems. While vacationing in london, richard hannay played by robert donat befriends a scared woman lucie. The director isnt renowned for laughoutloud funny, his one shot at screwball comedy in mr and mrs smith 1941 falling flat, but this. It first appeared as a serial in blackwoods magazine in august and september 1915 before being published in book form in october that year by william blackwood and sons, edinburgh. Fresh, funny, and filled with typically hitchcockian suspense, the 39 steps fully. It was adapted from the novel written by john buchan and the 1935 film by hitchcock.
Some people seem to regard the 39 steps as a practice run for hitchs later north by northwest, but i prefer the earlier movie. After watching the film again, and thinking how uptodate and fresh it was, i called up towne to ask him to elaborate on calling it the source of. The 39 steps has all the elements of a classic hitchcock film. Memory compulsively begins to answer, the thirtynine steps is an organization of spies, collecting information on behalf of the foreign office of suddenly, jordan shoots him and tries to flee, but he is quickly apprehended. It is the typical hitchcockian story of an average, innocent, ordinary man who is framed by circumstantial evidence and thrust against his will into an extraordinary situation that he doesnt. Before psycho and north by northwest, hitchcocks 1935 thriller the 39 steps was serving up some of cinemas most seminal moments. The 39 steps is chock full of situational semiotics. The thirtynine steps is one of the earliest examples of the manontherun thriller archetype subsequently adopted by film makers as a muchused plot device. The 39 steps 1935 alfred hitchcock film robert donat. Told from the firstperson point of view, it relates the adventure of ordinary fellow richard hannay, who is thrust into a plot involving the theft of crucial military intelligence by german anarchists.
The 1915 novel, which first appeared in serial form, has been hailed as the. The film depicts different subcultures found within europe a few years before the second world war. The 39 steps is a 1935 film by alfred hitchcock featuring hannay, pamela, min smith, professor jordan, memory and the sheriff among others. The thirtynine steps, a contrived title, is hitchcocks first film with a classic theme that he modeled repeatedly for the remainder of his career. The best loved of alfred hitchcocks early british films and perhaps the ripest target for parody, the 39 steps set the mold for the directors many thrillers about innocent men embroiled in. This dvd provides a newly restored transfer, new critical audio commentary on the film, and supplemental material detailing the moment the 39 steps was released. The thirtynine steps is an adventure spy novel by john buchan written in 1914. While on vacation in london, canadian richard hannay robert donat becomes embroiled in an international spy ring related to the mysterious 39 steps. How did the 39 steps help create the hitchcock format. Review and analysis of alfred hitchcocks classic noir adaptation of the james buchan novel, the 39 steps.
The story of the thirtynine steps is set very precisely during a few weeks in may and june 1914, before the outbreak of the first world war. The 39 steps response paper the 39 steps is the first play that i saw from the school of arts and sciences at ohio university. It would have been enough for most movies to be about simply a man accused of murder having to prove his innocence, but when combined with a spy thriller, the result is. Alfred hitchcock employs clever audio and visual tricks to add flavor to the story, and makes good use of 1930s film technology.1446 961 12 976 1547 1295 430 1359 1162 1452 1180 497 615 371 242 357 1387 1299 598 100 705 1054 429 125 315 1358 772 179 1464 1080 342 1189 783 411 359 1417 899 901 1186 200 361 575