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The 39 Steps (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1935)

Robert Donat , Madeline Carroll , Alfred Hitchcock  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)

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The 39 Steps (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Lady Vanishes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Donat, Madeline Carroll
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007N5YJWK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,957 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural
  • Audio commentary by Alfred Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane
  • Hitchcock: The Early Years (2000), a British documentary
  • Original footage from broadcaster Mike Scott's 1966 TV interview with Hitchcock
  • Complete broadcast of the 1937 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation
  • Visual essay by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
  • Excerpts from Francois Truffaut?s 1962 audio interview with Hitchcock
  • Original production design drawings
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Cairns

  • Editorial Reviews

    The 39 Steps is a heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho), following Richard Hannay (Oscar winner Robert Donat of Goodbye, Mr. Chips), who stumbles into a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors—a chase in which he is both the pursuer and the pursued—as well as into an expected romance with the cool Pamela (Madeline Carroll). Adapted from a novel by John Buchan, this classic wrong-man thriller from the Master of Suspense anticipates the director’s most famous works (especially North by Northwest), and remains one of his cleverest and most entertaining films.

    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    134 of 149 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion does it again... June 10, 2004
    I just ordered the Criterion Hitchcock "set" which includes "The 39 Steps", a movie I've watched many times over the last 20 years, but NEVER in a form this crisp and well-transfered; it's been restored beautifully, and as with all the films("My Man Godfrey" and "The Lady Vanishes", to name two)that have been kicking around with duped, grainy, fuzzy prints for the last 60-some years that were FINALLY restored-it's almost like watching a new movie-even if you'd thought you'd memorized all the dialogue and action! There's just so much that's missed in a bad print. Here, we have Hitch at his finest....there just isn't a dull second in this film. It's really as sure-fire as any movie ever made, in terms of entertainment. I believe this too was Hitchcock's first huge breakout international hit, although happily for us, he didn't "go Hollywood" for another 3 years or so(and gave us the later "Lady Vanishes"-another Criterion must-have).
    One caveat: if you're like me(hopeless film buff), you often get these Criterions for not only the fantastic quality of the print but for the often illuminating audio tracks, usually provided by experts of one type or another; I've never quibbled with any of them before, but I have to say, don't expect Marion Keane's wall-to-wall droning to be worth it. There's generally two kinds of film "discussion"(not counting the sort where the actual director or actors gab, which we get with new films): the sort that's superb, like Rudy Behlmer's on "Adventures of Robin Hood"-an amalgam of film history, film technique, on-the-fly biographies of the actors you're watching, tidbits about the production locations, etc.etc.-nd then there's the OTHER kind:
    film "semiotics".
    Read more ›
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    38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get better than this November 11, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    I won't argue the merits of DVD or recount the plot--but I do want to say this is a practically perfect film; it has it all: humor, suspense, romance, action, intrigue. I think it is Hitch's best British film, with the "The Lady Vanishes" coming in second. All of the actors are great, the script is fantastic, and Hitch's direction is unparelleled: the way he moves the camera, uses cuts, and frames the shots. This is such a fun and well-made film I almost hate seeing some of his later Hollywood movies which may have featured superstars like Bergman and Grant, but were made under the constrictive thumb of either Selznick or Hollywood moral conventions. "The 39 Steps" is a flat out wonderful movie, and Hitchcock was an absolute master.
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    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars VINTAGE HITCHCOCK. November 20, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    Many critics and viewers alike feel that this is one of Hitchcocks' finest films: viewer response to the film today is often as enthusiastic as when it was first released. One of the directors' favourite themes is used here: the innocent caught in bizarre circumstances that he or she doesn't understand. Particularly effective in the film are rapid changes of situation and Hitchcock's obvious contention that nothing is sacred, especially if a location or situation can be used to demonstrate the cleverness of his protagonist. There is a funny scene with Donat and Carroll, handcuffed together, pretending to be newlyweds "forced" to spend the night together. Visually, the film enabled Hitchcock to transfer some silent film techniques most effectively: the silent dialogue between Donat and the farmer's kind wife as seen through the window of the farmer's cottage is memorable as is the wind blowing curtains at a window on a stormy London night. There was no doubt that Hitchcock was a genius; he was the real star of the film; two modern remakes pale in comparison to this original gem from 1935.
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    23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Go for the Criterion August 18, 2002
    Five stars in all might make me sound like an easy-to-please viewer, but I don't see how this DVD could be better. Criterion never disappoints, so if you're buying this film it's worth paying extra for this one. I believe the transfer is way superior and the extras go on longer than an awards night.
    The documentary focuses on Hitchcock's British films, which aren't as widely seen these days and also a complete radio broadcast from 1937. Talk about diggin' up some material! I also enjoyed the commentary and that press book stuff. I'm not even sure I've seen it all. Actually, I'm still not sure what The 39 Steps really is exactly, but who cares? I pity people who don't watch certain movies because they're old and black & white. The reason people should see this film is because no one can make a film like this anymore. This is a great film, don't miss it.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Hitchcock June 21, 2000
    A stylish blend of mystery, romance and light humor, "The 39 Steps" is one of Alfred Hitchcock's finest achievements. Unfortunately, the public-domain status of this 1935 classic has resulted in plenty of inferior video copies at cheap prices. Avoid them! You're better off purchasing the Criterion release, which features a stunning 35mm print and some nice bonuses. "The 39 Steps" represents the highpoint of Hitchcock's British period and should be seen in the best possible quality. In terms of value for money, the Criterion version remains second to none.
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    88 of 113 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars BE CAREFUL - ONLY BUY CRITERION EDITION October 17, 2005
    If you don't get the Criterion Edition, you will be getting an inferior transfer of this film: fuzzy images, fuzzier sound...yuck! The "bad" transfers include the one that Tony Curtis introduces.

    Again, look for the Criterion Edition.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of Alfred's best
    Classic movie cleaned up nicely. This is one of Alfred's best early films. Humor and suspense.
    Published 26 days ago by James Mann
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 28 days ago by M. Slipman
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    The first minute of the movie was not included.
    Published 1 month ago by Rebecca
    4.0 out of 5 stars Geat movie, poor audio
    Excellent movie however the audio was really poor and needs to be re-worked. The 1959 version is better as is the picture and audio quality.
    Published 1 month ago by Philip E. Harriau
    2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
    Bad print, lousy sound, dumb story.
    Published 1 month ago by Richard A.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Best output for this movie
    Rating Criterion release. Very good dvd package in all. Extra material outstanding. Sound and picture 4,5 of 5. Contrast a bit weak but steady and clean surface troughout. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Anders Goransson
    3.0 out of 5 stars The quality wasn't that good but ok for a 1935 black and white movie
    A suspenseful classic by the master director: Alfred Hitchcock. The quality wasn't that good but ok for a 1935 black and white movie.
    Published 2 months ago by Tony Grant
    3.0 out of 5 stars the print quality is poor, but watchable
    A second tier Alfred Hitchcock movie that has not been digitally restored; the print quality is poor, but watchable.
    Published 2 months ago by George Miller
    5.0 out of 5 stars "The 39 Steps" -- the sole film Holden Caulfield admires in...
    This is, in many ways, Hitchcock's greatest film. I suggest watching it alongside his less praised British film, "Young and Innocent," for both serve as strong evocations... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Charles Coulter
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Product exactly as described, fast service!
    Published 2 months ago by Aussianna
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