Drama, Godfrey Tearle, Hitchcock, John Laurie, Lucie Mannheim, Madeleine Carroll, Movie, Peggy Ashcroft, Robert Donat, Suspense, The 39 Steps
Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Godfrey Tearle, Lucie Mannheim, John Laurie, Peggy Ashcroft
Richard: Are you married?
Milkman: Yes, but don’t rub it in.
Richard (Donat) meets a mysterious woman, Annabella (Mannheim), who comes back to his apartment with him. She reveals to him that she’s a spy trying to prevent an important secret from being exposed. When she is murdered in his apartment, Richard must go on the run from the police (who suspect Richard) and Annabella’s killers as well.
This is a relatively early Alfred Hitchcock movie, and it didn’t appeal to me nearly as much as some of his later movies do. There are many of his usual themes and images present, like a falsely accused man, trains, shadowy locations, etc, but it all just didn’t quite come together for me in this case.
It’s not a bad film, of course, it’s just a little routine. Also, the leading man, Robert Donat, was a bit dull. The three main women in the movie were much more interesting. There’s Annabella, the spy at the beginning. Then there’s Margaret, the farmer’s wife who helps Richard escape from the police. And finally there’s Pamela. She turns Richard in to the police twice, but ends up handcuffed to him and on the run for the final act of the film.
You can see some of Hitchcock’s inventiveness and creativity on display with camera angles and such, but not much in the movie really grabbed my attention. I had a hard time staying awake through it, to be honest, which is not usually the case with Hitchcock movies. Plus, the big secret reveal in the end hardly seemed worth all the trouble everybody had gone through.
Not terrible, just not a classic.
Don’t take mysterious women home with you.
10 – 3 because I didn’t find the story to be very compelling – 1 for a few dull performances, especially the lead = 6.0