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Hitchcock's Great British Films: The 39 Steps; The Lady Vanishes; Secret Agent

Choose any films beginning 3:20, 5:05, 7:00; I plan to see all.

January 2 features 3 films that are the highlights of Hitch's pre-Hollywood career in Britain, where he often made films for movie executive and grandfather of Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Balcon.

***If anyone wants to join me, I will be in the lobby with Simba or a meetup sign to meet people before each film.

**At 8:50, one of Hitch's excellent Hollywood films, "Strangers on a Train," is scheduled, I probably will not stay to see that one, though I highly recommend it!!!


3:20:"Secret Agent"

5:05:"The Lady Vanishes"

7:00:"The 39 Steps"


3:20: "Secret Agent" with John Gielgud, Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll; 1936, 86 mins.:

"After three British agents are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during World War I, two of them become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences" (Imdb).

5:05: "The Lady Vanishes" starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave, 1938, 1 hr. 37 min.

"'The Lady Vanishes,' Alfred Hitchcock's comedy-thriller, came at the end of his British [filmmaking] period; this film's success brought Hitchcock to the attention of Hollywood."

The film concerns the young Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood), heading home on a train after spending the holidays in the Balkans. Iris becomes friends with a kindly old lady, Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) after Iris gets hit in the head with a flowerpot meant for Miss Froy.

On the train, recovering from the blow, Iris falls asleep. When she awakens, Miss Froy has vanished, replaced by someone else in Miss Froy's clothing. Iris talks to the other passengers, a bizarre collection of eccentrics who think that Iris is crazy for insisting on there even being a Miss Froy...."

7:00: "The 39 Steps" starring Oscar winner Robert Donat ("Goodbye, Mr. Chips"); 1935, 1hr. 27 min:

"Filled with twists and turns," this is considered a classic that contains elements Hitch mastered in his later films:

"A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and he stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring trying to steal top secret information" (info from Imdb and rottentomatoes)

These films are part of the Belcourt's "Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense" series in late Dec-mid- Jan:

"Could 2013 be the year of the Hitch? A new making-of-PSYCHO biopic stars Anthony Hopkins. The British Film Institute has undertaken a major restoration of Hitchcock’s early silent films, set to tour the U.S. in 2013. At the Belcourt, we close out this year and start the new one with a 23-day/24-film retrospective that surveys Hitchcock’s mammoth post-silent era" (Belcourt).

Individual Tickets available; plus, 6-Pack: $39 ($30 Belcourt member); and Full Series Pass: $138 ($115 Belcourt member)

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  • Sharon

    I enjoyed meeting some of you guys before and after Secret Agent. Sorry I couldn't stay for more films.

    January 2, 2013

    • John B

      Really appreciated meeting some/most of you. Ir was fun

      January 2, 2013

    • Tricia S.

      It was nice meeting you also.

      January 3, 2013

  • Zan B.

    So sorry that I wasn't able to come. I really wanted to. Will see you all next time.

    January 3, 2013

  • jane d.

    Had a great time seeing the films and talking with others. Early Hitchcock is, for me, most intetesting as a run-up to the recurring themes/visuals of later, truly great Hitchcock--e.g., Peter Lorre in Secret Agent laughing, "The wrong man!!!!!"

    January 3, 2013

  • susan

    i had planned to come to the 7 pm movie but will ot be able to come--please note that i tried to cancel

    January 2, 2013

  • John B

    Green-olivedrab army jacket (~1970) I will be wearing. With Chuck Taylor Hightops.
    I will be at both the Secret Agent and The Lady Vanishes. In the lobby.

    January 1, 2013

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