Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The 39 Steps 2008

     The setting of this film is 1914 just prior to World War I and it is based on a 1915 novel by John Buchan.  Richard Hannay is a mining engineer on a holiday from his work in the African colonies.  Richard finds London to be terribly dull and he spends a lot of evenings out all night.  After one of his nights out, he returns home to his flat and immediately there is a knock on the door from his upstairs neighbor Scudder.  Richard complains that he is tired but Scudder tells him he is a British spy and there are three German spies in the building who want to kill him.  Scudder entrusts Richard with his notebook written in a Roman numeral code.  The Germans thrust themselves into the flat and Scudder is immediately shot to death.  Richard is believed to be the murder and he leaves London right away by train.  Richard starts trying to solve the complicated code in the notebook.
     The scenery in Scotland is very beautiful.  I liked the clothing, hairstyles, cars and manners of this period.  There is a biplane and a submarine included in the action.  It’s difficult to tell with the plot 
twists and turns who are the British spies and who are the German spies. 3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

90 min, Crime directed by James Hawes with Rupert Penry-Jones, Lydia Leonard, David Haig, Patrick Malahide, Patrick Kennedy, Eddie Marsan, Alex Jennings, Steven Elder, Werner Daehn, Peter Stark, Del Synnott, Roger De Courcey, David Gallacher.

Note:  Imdb 6.4 out of 10, Rotten Tomatoes 42% audience, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 565 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in various locations in Scotland.  There are six other versions of this film released in 1935, 1959, 1978, 2003, 2010 and one in development.  Some story elements were added not included in the original novel.

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