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Hastings and St Leonards Observer (23/Nov/1935) - Next Week's New Plays: The 39 Steps



Next Week's New Plays: The 39 Steps

"The 39 Steps" at the Gaiety

Eagerly awaited by all filmgoers, "The 39 Steps" the picture that swept London off its feet, provides a attraction for the whole of next week.

The screen version of John Buchan's greatest thriller, with Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll in the leading roles is a triumph for the genius of Alfred Hitchccock, its director, and it is a picture with a universal appeal.

A spy mystery of the first water, the story tells of how a girl is murdered in Richard Hannay's flat, and he becomes involved in the search for a master spy who continues to obtain vital air defence secrets. On the trail in Scotland, Hannay finds himself wanted for murder, and in his efforts to escape meets the master criminal.

Left for dead, he gets away, and is involved in a host of adventures, in company with the girl to whom he had previously made love as a shield from the police. When their car is stopped on a lonely moor his captors handcuff him to Pamela, but he escapes with her, and after thrilling experiences, they spend a night at an inn under most awkward circumstances.

Pamela succeeds in releasing the handcuffs, and during the night learns the truth. Hannay gets back to London in time to frustrate the plans of the spy.

The hounding of Hannay on the lonely Scottish moor, his thrilling ride on the Flying Scotsman tingling with adventure all the time, make perfect entertainment.

Readers of John Buchan's great thriller are provided with all the excitement of the novel. They see the harassed hero evading the police as the train draws into Waverley Station at Edinburgh; a thrilling escape from the express on the Forth Bridge, and the hills and glens of the Highlands with the heather in full bloom and the waterfalls pouring over the rocks. Even the wet blanket of a Scotch mist comes into the picture.

Critics are unanimous in their praise of "The 39 Steps." "An action talkie par excellence." "Far the best thriller of the year," "Brilliant achievement," "A British film worthy of praise without reserve," and "Possibly the finest thriller ever produced," are some of the Press verdicts.

Novel and picturesque settings, sparkling dialogue, splendid acting and fast-moving incident, grave and gay, are a sure gurantee of complete enjoyment for all who see this fine film. Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll act magnificently, the latter giving what is acclaimed the best performance of her career. Lucy Mannneim Godfrey, Tearle and Peggy Ashcroft are also in the cast.

The usual attractive supporting features will complete the programme.