"The 39 Steps", written by John Buchan in 1915 is a terrific movie and a book. (Buchan himself is quite the man in real life.) World War I was a year old and now one was unaware of sabotage and its potential devasting effects on peoples and worlds. Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll are brilliantly directed by a young Alfred Hitchcock. The ability of Hitchcock to insert horrific behavior of some people into the ordinary, common everyday human behavior is masterful. Everyone who has seen Hitchcock's movies and television presentations understands that Hitchcock views life on more than one level. The remakes of 'The 39 Steps' never make even a dent in the impact of the original movie. In the novel by the same name there is no woman involved, no man with the missing digit, no one named Memory. Buchan wrote other 'shockers' with Richard Hannay as the protagonist.

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