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Thread: The 39 Steps

  1. #61
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    There was an article in this week's "Mail on Sunday", slating the inaccuracies in the film. Cars of the wrong period, aircraft which did not see service until 2 years after the action took place, incorrect railway details (as I mentioned earlier), submarine surfacing on a landlocked fresh water loch, etc. etc.
    Ah, the Mail, always so keen to give BBC any credit whatsoever.

    Meanwhile, good luck in your efforts to find a flying example of a pre-WW1 aircraft they could have used for that sequence....

  2. #62
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    penfold,



    If the Beeb makes so many blunders in one programme it's asking for trouble, whether it's the Mail or those bastions of accuracy, The Sun, The Sunday Times, Mirror, Guardian et al, who point them out.



    Now why would I be looking for aircraft for an already completed drama??

  3. #63
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    The BBC version has only just be screened here in New Zealand and I know that most people will disagree with me, but I thought it wasn't that bad.



    OK, so it wasn't as good as the three other versions and some silly mistakes made (wrong cars, plane, rail etc), but as a good old fashioned yarn it wasn't half bad. A mate of mine watched it and he hasn't seen any of the other versions, and he thought it was brilliant. Also I read a review from someone in Australia, who had not seen any other version and she thought it was wonderful. So maybe when we view it we should forget the other versions (and the book!) before making judgement.



    Personally, the Hitchcock one is my favourite version. In my opinion The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes were Hitchcock's best. I do like both the Kenneth More version (unfairly compared to Hitchcock's and not getting the credit it deserves) and the later Robert Powell version of 39 Steps also. I have all three versions on DVD and may even end up getting the BBC version also.



    The Hollywood version has been delayed until 2011, seven years after it was first announced. Personally, I hope they end up not making it. Hollywood's track record in remaking British films in recent years has been bad to say the least. The Italian Job, The Ladykillers, The Day of the Jackal, Get Carter, The Wicker Man, Lord of the Flies etc have all been remade badly and makes BBC's 39 Steps look like a masterpiece!

  4. #64
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    I would like to see again the third cinema remake of this film as, it may not have quite the same momentum of the first and perhaps the second, it did follow the original story better and I am a collectormaniac I need the later version.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Country: UK RogerThornhill's Avatar
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    I have all the versions except the TV version which hadly counts anyway. My favourite is the Kenneth More version, I think that his portrayal was the most suited to the story. I'm not saying that his portrayal was the most accurate, just that I enjoyed it more than those of Robert Powell and Robert Donat. Hitchcock's version has such a lot going for it but I don't enjoy it as much.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Country: England mrs_emma_peel's Avatar
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    The Kenneth More/Taina Elg (1959) 39 Steps is my favourite film version too ... principally because Kenneth More seems to fit the character of Hannay so absolutely perfectly ... shot for shot it almost identical to Hitchcock's classic version ... but I've always thought the 1959 version was very underrated and has now definitely become my number one film adaptation of The 39 Steps.

  7. #67
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    Hitchcock's version, as cinematic art, was the most innovative and thrilling and will stand the test of time internationally as it has a great director's stamp on it. That doesn't detract from Kenneth More's 39 Steps which is also excellent but if there was a Desert Island DVDs The 1935 version would accompany the Shakespear, Bible etc.

  8. #68
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    I think the Robert Powell version is superb, the climactic end in the Tower of Big Ben is a superb set piece of British Cinema, the sort of thing we really should see more of in future.
    Last edited by Nick Dando; 25-01-11 at 10:28 PM.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    Agreed and it deserves more air-time.

  10. #70
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I love the Robert Powell version, it's a good old fashioned entertaining romp.

  11. #71
    Senior Member Country: England Elaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernardo View Post
    The three versions of the 39 Steps are among my favourites. The first being Hitchcockian beautifully made with a cheerful, nay thrilling disregard for the book. Brit BW film making at its best. The second with expansive Kenneth Moore expansive locations in yes, expansive colour. It is fascinating to compare the two versions. The third tells the more correct story and Robert Powell portrays it well enough not to let Donat and Moore down. Three good thoroughly british ripping yarns.

    Bernardo
    Loved all of those, but what about the tv version[not a film I know] with Rupert Penry Jones. That was supposedly the true the story, I have never read the book so I don't know. I enjoyed that equaly.
    Last edited by Elaine; 27-01-11 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Missed a word out

  12. #72
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    The tv version was farthest from the book of all of them!
    Unmitigated tosh, to be polite; would have helped matters
    if Penry-Jones could act or emote, I suppose, and the bits
    where the female sidekick turned out to be virtually a
    wonder woman clone destroyed it for most people I know
    who watched it. That,plus the ending, stolen from the film
    (but NOT the book) of 'Enigma'. I shudder at the thought
    of this thing going into terminal repeats on Dave or BBC3
    or something! Best left buried under a rock!
    Last edited by Nick Dando; 27-01-11 at 04:20 PM.

  13. #73
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthien View Post
    The tv version was farthest from the book of all of them!
    Unmitigated tosh, to be polite; would have helped matters
    if Penry-Jones could act or emote, I suppose, and the bits
    where the female sidekick turned out to be virtually a
    wonder woman clone destroyed it for most people I know
    who watched it. That,plus the ending, stolen from the film
    (but NOT the book) of 'Enigma'. I shudder at the thought
    of this thing going into terminal repeats on Dave or BBC3
    or something! Best left buried under a rock!

    I liked it. I don't think it matters but it was no further from the book than the Hitchcock film. At least it actually had 39 steps

  14. #74
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    The new version really did suck. I gues that is the danger of getting a femate writer to to adapt it. She felt an overwhelming need to make the woman the real star of the story even though dramatically it destroyed the story's suspense. It would have been better if they gave the protagonist a sex change (the police are after her because there is a dead man in her room) than the nonsense they came up with.

  15. #75
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will.15 View Post
    The new version really did suck. I gues that is the danger of getting a femate writer to to adapt it. She felt an overwhelming need to make the woman the real star of the story even though dramatically it destroyed the story's suspense. It would have been better if they gave the protagonist a sex change (the police are after her because there is a dead man in her room) than the nonsense they came up with.
    Yes, women should keep their pretty little heads out of action screenplays and stick to what their good at - bonnets

  16. #76
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will.15 View Post
    It would have been better if they gave the protagonist a sex change (the police are after her because there is a dead man in her room) than the nonsense they came up with.
    Mrs Bat holds that opinion of the TV version and I think it would make for an interesting version of the story, especially if they kept to the non-feminist attitudes of the times. The character would have one more obstacle to overcome, she wouldn't have to just deal with the foreign spies and the police, she would have to deal with the chauvinistic attitudes of the times. For the writer of the TV version (regardless of her sex) to turn the female character into a poor man's Lara Croft was just stupid, it ruined the balance of the story and frankly made no sense.


  17. #77
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    All 3 are good but on balance I enjoyed the Kenneth More one best, loved everything about it

  18. #78
    Senior Member Country: England Elaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will.15 View Post
    The new version really did suck. I gues that is the danger of getting a femate writer to to adapt it. She felt an overwhelming need to make the woman the real star of the story even though dramatically it destroyed the story's suspense. It would have been better if they gave the protagonist a sex change (the police are after her because there is a dead man in her room) than the nonsense they came up with.
    My daughter has read the book! And she says the BBC version is the most faithful adaption yet. We are both fans of all previous films, but we don't see anything wrong with strong female characters, or directors.
    Last edited by Elaine; 28-01-11 at 01:32 PM. Reason: missed two words out.

  19. #79
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
    My daughter has read the book! And she says the BBC version is the most faithful adaption yet. We are both fans of all previous films, but we don't see anything wrong with strong female characters, or directors.
    But you're both girlies so I'm afraid your opinion on action dramas counts for very little. Apparently

  20. #80
    Senior Member Country: England Elaine's Avatar
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    Oh kind sir, I will put my bonnet on directly and go back to my kitchen sink. Lol chuckle chuckle..

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