The 39 Steps


(Alfred Hitchcock, 1935).
The most successful and celebrated of Alfred Hitchcock’s British movies, this is also the movie with which Hitchcock became Hitchcock—a well-known espionage adventure provided the basis for a new sort of thriller and a new sort of comedy. The precursor to the James Bond movies, as well as Strangers on a Train, North by Northwest et al, Hitchcock’s 39 Steps is simultaneously suspenseful, insouciant, and absurd—a work of heightened theatricality and bravura, breakneck filmmaking. The movie is playful in both senses of the word as made clear by the current Broadway hit, itself a tour-de-force of intricate, breakneck minimalism, the movie is essentially farce.

Fridays-Sundays, 2, 4:30, 6:50 & 9:15 p.m.; Mondays-Thursdays, 4:30, 6:50 & 9:15 p.m. Starts: Sept. 5. Continues through Sept. 11, 2008