2012 is all about The 39 Steps for admirers of Robert Donat’s work. On 26 June, Criterion are releasing their much anticipated Blu-Ray of Hitchcock’s classic, in which RD starred. The disc will feature:
- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary by Alfred Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane
- Hitchcock: The Early Years (2000), a British documentary covering the director’s prewar career
- Original footage from British broadcaster Mike Scott’s 1966 television interview with Hitchcock
- Complete broadcast of the 1937 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation, starring Ida Lupino and Robert Montgomery
- New visual essay by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
- Audio excerpts from François Truffaut’s 1962 interviews with Hitchcock
- Original production design drawings
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Cairns
David Cairns, you may recall, has contributed to this site. Recently, at his excellent blog Shadowplay, David treated us to a short film in celebration of Hitch’s use of hands in The 39 Steps.
As Criterion’s DVD of The 39 Steps is far and away the best restoration of a Robert Donat film currently available, we can afford to be excited. We hope to bring you more information in due course.
In addition, the BFI Southbank are staging a major retrospective of Alfred Hitchcock’s work this year: The Genius of Hitchcock. Between August and October, they will be showing all of Hitchcock’s films, including The 39 Steps. From June onwards there are associated events. Keep an eye on the BFI’s shiny new website for more information.