Other English Hitchcocks may be more provocative, but few offer such a ripping good yarn.
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Like Rear Window later on, this charming, masterfully made British spy adventure from 1935 is a sigh of doubt, perhaps even a cry of anguish, disguised as a slick pop bauble.
As an artist, Alfred Hitchcock surpassed this early achievement many times in his career, but for sheer entertainment value it still stands in the forefront of his work.
The movie with which Hitchcock became Hitchcock.
Hitchcock would make richer films in Hollywood, but The 39 Steps came off the line as the Model T of cinematic plot machines.