Plot and Counter-Plot.. Diplomat, intelligence officer, and adventure writer John Buchan’s superb 1915 thriller “The 39 Steps” has been recreated several times on the big and small screens, most famously in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie. The 2008 BBC production is now available on DVD. It stars Rupert Penry-Jones, familiar to PBS fans as Captain Wentworth in 2007’s “Persuasion”, as Richard Hannay, a resourceful Scottish mining engineer just returned from South Africa to the United Kingdom in 1914, as tensions rise…
Few outdo the British in mystery thrillers THE 39 STEPS is one classy movie! There are few who can pull off this mixture of humor, suspense, intrigue, and subterfuge the way the best of the British films can. Lizzie Mickery’s screenplay adaptation of John Buchan’s novel tosses in a few unexpected ingredients and makes this early 1900s story blossom with suspense, hilarity, derring-do, and wonderful one-liners. Director James Hawes paces the film so that there is never a dull moment in this chase toward staving off Germany’s entry…
Steps up to the plate.. Having seen and loved (and owning) Hitchcock’s masterful 1935 version I wasn’t sure that this was going to be all that. Happily I can write that this is all that and more. Covering the plight of one Richard Hannay, a Mining Engineer back in London from Africa on the eve of World War One and voice-overing that his life is just too dull. In one of those “watch what you wish for” deals, he’s within minutes on the run from both the police who think he murdered the freelance spy who invaded his…
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