The 39 Steps (1959)

March 14th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Ralph Thomas | Kenneth More, Taina Elg, Brenda de Banzie, Barry Jones, Joan Hickson | UK Drama

You remake Hitchcock at your peril, but although generally considered inferior to the 1935 classic this version is perfectly enjoyable in it’s own right.

A straightforward remake of Hitchcock’s 1935 classic rather than a literal adaptation of John Buchan’s novel (Mr Memory isn’t in the book, but the explanation of the title accurately adheres to the original).

While Hitchcock’s version rarely left the studio, this version is attractively shot on location in Eastmancolor, often feels like a rather agreeable day out and has a delightful score by Clifton Parker.

It also benefits from an enormous cast of familiar faces – Brenda De Banzie is particularly good – with Barry Jones just as sinister as the man without the tip of his finger as Godfrey Tearle was in the original. @RichardChatten

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