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John Buchan

Buchan with Hitchcock in 1935


John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, was a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada.

In June 1926, just after he had finished editing The Lodger, Scottish newspapers reported that Alfred Hitchcock was intending to film an adoption of Buchan's 1922 novel Huntingtower in Scotland.[1] However, it was eventually instead filmed by director George Pearson for Paramount.

Hitchcock adapted Buchan's 1915 novel The Thirty-Nine Steps in 1935, although the director and screenwriter Charles Bennett made substantial changes to the plot of the novel.

John Buchan's son William visited the set of The 39 Steps during filming and, expressing an interest in working in films, was offered a job at Gaumont-British where he briefly worked as an assistant director to Hitchcock on Secret Agent (1936).[2]

At various stages in his career, Hitchcock considered adapting other Buchan novels that featured Richard Hannay — including Greenmantle and The Three Hostages — but the projects all failed to move into pre-production.


Hitchcock adaptations...

Hitchcock Fiction Anthologies

Radio Adaptations

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Notes & References

  1. Dundee Courier (08/Jun/1926) - New Scottish Film
  2. The Evening Telegraph (31/Dec/1935) reported that William Buchan's job seemed to mostly involve "dashing hither and thither escorting [the lead actors] from their dressing-rooms to the set." It appears William was resented by the other crew at Gaumont-British and by 1937 he'd abandoned any thoughts of a movie career and had moved to New York.