Presented by the American Cinematheque and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles
“What are the 39 Steps?” And why is a network of foreign spies so desperate to stop stalwart hero Robert Donat from uncovering the mystery of this most cryptic of Hitchcock puzzles? And will lovely Madeleine Carroll really come to trust that Donat is an innocent man and not an escaped criminal running from the law? With its nonstop suspense, breathtaking setpieces and brain-twisting plot turns, THE 39 STEPS set the pattern for nearly all the great Hitchcock thrillers to come.
THE LADY VANISHES - No one believes witty playgirl Iris Henderson (a fine Margaret Lockwood) when she claims the elderly “governess” Miss Froy has mysteriously disappeared from a train en route from the fictional country of Bandrika to Western Europe. No one, except for charming Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), who joins forces with Iris to expose the foreboding magic trick of a woman vanishing into thin air on a moving locomotive. Featuring mesmerizing overlapping camera work by cinematographer Jack Cox and a script loaded with can’t-believe-that-slid-past-the-censors political doozies, THE LADY VANISHES is so much more than its usual branding as “light entertainment” - it’s Hitchcock at his pre-Hollywood best, a perfect blend of suspense and screwball.Watch for Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford as two cricket-obsessed fellow passengers - their pairing here was so successful, they co-starred in a further 10 films playing essentially the same characters!
The 39 Steps (1935) Young and Innocent (1937) The Lady Vanishes (1938) Rebecca (1940) Foreign Correspondent (1940) Notorious (1946) Strangers on a Train (1951) Rear Window (1954) To Catch a Thief (1955) The Trouble with Harry (1955) Vertigo (1958) North by Northwest (1959) Psycho (1960) Marnie (1964) Topaz (1969) Frenzy (1972) Family Plot (1976)
Everyone drank innumerable cups of tea on that set. And if I saw Hitch drink one cup, I surely saw him drink a thousand during the making of that film. But always when he had finished the tea he did the same thing–flip over one shoulder would go the cup, then smash over the other the saucer! I don’t know why he did it–certainly not out of temper or excitement. It made me jump the first time, then I got used to it. So presumably did the canteen.