Each week we’re recommending a movie from the film lover’s favorite home video company, Criterion. The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film. This week, The 39 Steps.
A heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps follows Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) as he stumbles upon 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 unexpected 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.
Black & White
- Audio commentary by Alfred Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane
- Hitchcock: The Early Years (2000), a British documentary covering the director’s prewar career
- Original footage from British broadcaster Mike Scott’s 1966 television interview with Hitchcock
- Complete broadcast of the 1937 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation, starring Ida Lupino and Robert Montgomery
- New visual essay by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
- Audio excerpts from François Truffaut’s 1962 interviews with Hitchcock
- Original production design drawings
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing