24 February 2006

A Hitchcock film 7 decades later

Mark Steyn reflects on a favourite early Hitchcock film, The 39 Steps, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of its female lead, Madeleine Carroll. I myself reviewed the film on the IMDB website five years ago. I have long been a fan of Hitchcock's films, although I find the ones he directed after 1959 to be markedly inferior to those made prior to that year. Among my personal favourites are The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca (1940), Rear Window (1954) and North by Northwest (1959). The book on which Hitch based his 39 Steps was authored by Scottish novelist John Buchan, who became governor general to Canada the very year the film was made. Buchan was rechristened Lord Tweedsmuir when he took the post and died here before his term had expired.

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