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Criterion Release: The 39 Steps

July 3, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 classic The 39 Steps is being released on Blu-ray & DVD today, as part of the Criterion Collection.  Based on the 1915 novel by John Buchan, the film stars Robert Donat as a Canadian who finds himself involved in a conspiracy in London that sends him on a chase through the Scottish moors.  Desperately trying to prove his innocence, the twists and turns build up in the film.

Alfred Hitchcock has always been among my favourite directors and The 39 Steps is one of his early masterpieces.  Recalling later classics from the Master of Suspense like North By Northwest, this is a film infused with his signature blend of intrigue and suspense that still holds up and is just as entertaining close to eighty years after it was first released.  The Blu-ray comes highly recommended.

The Blu-ray includes commentary with Alfred Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane, two archival interviews with the director, a British documentary on his work, and more.  Also included is a booklet with an essay by film critic David Cairns.

The 39 Steps is 86 minutes and rated PG.

-John C.

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