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The 39 Steps - Alfred Hitchcock

Robert Donat , Madeleine Carroll , Alfred Hitchcock    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006TVW8M2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,404 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


The 39 Steps - Alfred Hitchcock Classic Movies - BLACK&WHITE

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 118 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A major Step backwards 21 Oct 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
As a fan of this 1935 classic, I was so looking forward to this HD release. With the exception of the aspect ratio on Thunderbirds, ITV blu-ray haven't put a foot wrong so far. This release breaks that record. A candidate for the worst HD release ever. What went wrong?. No restoration, print damage evident all the way through, no contrast, greys instead of rich blacks and picture so soft, it could almost be a VHS tape converted to HD. Avoid this like the plague and purchase the excellent Criterion DVD instead. The picture quality on this blu-ray release really is that bad. ITV, hang your head in shame at this travesty of a disc..
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor Blu-ray for 39 Steps 23 Oct 2009
By Dr T
I watched this on a rental last night and I am very glad I did not buy it! The film is fantastic with humour, great actors and stunning cinematography for its time. However the transfer is very, very poor. After seeing some great remasters recently, this is very disappointing indeed. As mentioned by the other reviewers, the picture lacks detail, contrast, stability (it wobbles a lot) and has significant damage. The audio is also very poor. Both the video and audio elements need a lot of work. Unless there's a vastly improved re-issue, I cannot recommend this Blu-ray at all. Very sad.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better than the DVD, but disappointing 22 Oct 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The transfer is a step up from the previous Carlton/Granada/ITV DVD releases and more detail is visible in the image. However, the film desperately needs restoration work and a transfer with better quality contrast. If you don't own the film on DVD at all, then this Bluray is worth considering, but don't expect a reference quality transfer.

If you own the Criterion DVD, then you're probably not going to notice much difference between the ITV Bluray and that DVD upscaled. Plus, the Criterion transfer has much better contrast.

In terms of extras, you get:
- audio commentary from Marian Keane (from the Criterion DVD)
- "Hitchcock: The Early Years" documentary
- short "On Location" ITV programme, with Robert Powell
- stills, on set photos, posters & publicity

Overall, a disappointing release of a early Hitchcock masterpiece.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Always read customer reviews 16 April 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Note to self in future: always read customer reviews on amazon before purchasing anything new. I love this film and jumped at the chance to buy in blu ray, having missed the fact that it had been out for a while. What an appalling disappointment. Within 5 minutes my wife and I said, there is something wrong here and stopped watching. I had built myself up to thinking this might be as good as the truly wonderful blu ray of Casablanca. Without doubt it is the worst of my blu ray library by a mile and in fact will not be in it for much longer as it is on it's way to the charity shop. My copy in dvd format by Network as part of Hitchcock, The British Years is much better. It did not cost much and now I know why but I am nonetheless very disappointed. Note: this review applies to the ITV version.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Specifications: -

Case - Standard U.K plastic Blu-ray case (14mm spine)

Disc - 25GB, MPEG-4 AVC encoded, Region B locked.

Video - 1.37:1 Aspect Ratio in a 16:9 frame (black bars appear at the sides of the picture), Black & White, 1080p/24fps.

Audio - Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

Subtitles - Optional English.

Supplements -
Commentary by Hitchcock scholar Marian Keene.
'The Art of Film: Vintage Hitchcock' Featurette (29mins in SD).
The Lux Radio Theater Adaptation (60mins -audio only).
'On Location' Featurette presented by Actor Robert Powell - (13mins).
Photo Galleries.

Censorship?: No censorship cuts have been made at all since the films release. The BBFC passed the film with a U Certificate, and the film does contain some very mild violence.

One of the best pre-world war II Hitchcock films, and also one of the first to incorporate the 'wrong man' theme. Even after 75 years since its release its still an enjoyable yarn, with some fine acting (for the time) and excellent cinematography.
The picture looks okay (but not brilliant) considering the films age and source material. Theres noticable grain throughout and it looks slightly sharper than the dvd edition but contast levels and blacks are very weak. Theres also some noticable artefacts in some scenes and the ocassional blurriness. This film needs a good re-mastering/re-storing. I know this is an old film but with a little re-mastering it could look pristine (see The Masters of Cinema's 'Fritz Lang's M' blu-ray for example)
The audio is bad. No lossless 2.0 mono just a bog standard Dolby Digital. I had to turn the volume up and down on my sound system very high just to hear the dialogue in some scenes - very frustrating.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tremendous picture 15 Jan 2003
Without a doubt, this is the best Hitchcock chase movie, and certainly one of his most enjoyable. Many may be put of by the somewhat shaky production values and the age (I was), which makes the film seem tremendously old. Coupled to this, Robert Donat's hair and moustache does the film no favours. However those who turn a blind eye to this gem will kick
themselves. The film IS better than North By Northwest. Now I have watched the latter film 3-4 times since, but I cannot shake the feeling it is somewhat overrated but by just. It is still an excellent film, but by no means up there with his best. The 39 Steps is better. The story has better pacing, a wittier interchange between the 2 leads (and from the supporting characters - i.e. the 2 gentlemen in the train) and some subtler comedy substances. Plus the fact the locations are moodier - London, and dark, misty Scotland! The chemistry between the two leads is phenomenal much better than in North by Northwest, and yet, is based purely on the their mental and verbal interactions rather than their physical.
There are also some great touches such as that famous sound cut to the roaring train when the first murder is discovered, and just the small, finer creative flourishes littered throughout the film (including an early great continous cut in the car, somehting he would try later in Rope). These touches add so much to the enjoyment value if you can appreciate them. The set pieces, although more brief and low key compared to his later films, they complement the story to no end. They all fit in with the natural flow of the film as opposed to being flamboyant showpieces.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars classic..
I have seen this film many years ago. Recently, i went to see the west end production of 39 steps and it was amazing so i had to reacquaint myself with the film! Love it all..
Published 12 days ago by Gilbert Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill
The best, is this first attempt at this story. A bit grainy in places but as its an old film you would expect that.
Published 2 months ago by Alison
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Thought we would give some films of our youth on Blue Ray and have to say beats the old grainy versions.
Published 2 months ago by Eric Mcnulty
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Donat.
A wonderful film with a first class British cast. I strongly recommend this film to all those who enjoy the great British films of the post war period.
Published 3 months ago by artdealer
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
This is the first of three versions of The 39 Steps and Robert Donat is easily the best over Kenneth More and Robert Powell. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Hugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Back in time
Bought this after seeing the show in London, at the most amazing theatre that is all underground! Watched the film with family - they don't make tham like that any more.
Published 4 months ago by J. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for grandad
He liked the film the foirst time around and when he saw it in his birthday present he was delighted. Read more
Published 5 months ago by T M
5.0 out of 5 stars Was for a gift
The person who I got this for just loved it as its one of there old time favourite films which they watch again and again
Published 5 months ago by Julie BF
5.0 out of 5 stars The39 steps Blu Ray
A good print for such an old movie. The only other copy of this movie I need to buy now is the kennett More versoin .Well done on the BluRay print. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kenneth B. Barrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
Bought this for my son who was playing the leading role for his GCSE exam and it was brilliant ! Gave him lots of ideas. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Melanie Banks
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