One of my favorite horror films, Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon, always reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock—had the master of suspense turned to occult themes. Little wonder. Turns out the screenplay for Night of the Demon was composed by one of Hitchcock’s seminal collaborators, Charles Bennett, the writer behind The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much. That’s ju...
Mark Sachleben’s book, World Politics on Screen: Understanding International Relations through Popular Culture (University Press of Kentucky), explores the relation between film (along with TV) and American perceptions of war, foreign affairs and our place in the world. Do motion pictures reflect politics, shape politics or both? The answer should be clear enough: polit...
The challenge of remaking a classic film begins with the question, “Why do it?” With the recent remake of The Lady Vanishes (out on DVD), the answer is that the screenplay is true to the otherwise forgotten novel (Ethel Lina White’s The Wheel Spins) that was the source for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1938 classic. Hitchcock took great liberties while the director of the new vers...
Cicada Theatre Company delivers a solidly comic evening of outdoor theater at
summer’s end as it presents The 39 Steps.
Drew Brhel directs a cast of four playing a great many roles in a briskly
paced send-up of the 1930s Alfred Hitchcock spy story. William Bolz manages the
right amount of wry humor in the
The story of The 39 Steps goes back
to 1915. Scottish John Buchan wrote the adventure while languishing in bed with
an ulcer. The story was serialized in a British magazine. Twenty years later Alfred
Hitchcock turned it into a film, considered one of his greatest early pictures.
Seven decades later, a comic stage
Alfred Hitchcock is having a
midlife, make that a late-life, crisis. His latest movie, North by Northwest, is a smash hit and yet he is nagged by doubt.
“But you’re 60 years old,” a reporter shouts out. “Shouldn’t you just quit
3 Seconds Under A Streetlight with The Milwaukee Rep’s 39 Steps
By Russ Bickerstaff
Part of the appeal of theatre is the transformation of reality. Under ideal conditions, an audience is transported somewhere else for the duration of the play. Ideally, a group of actors and various production elements can convince an audience on some level that they’re more than just a roomful of people pretending. Patrick Barlow’s comic adaptation of The 39 Steps plays with the illusion fo...
Following the Broadway Tradition, 4 actors tell a story that Hitchcock told with over 30
By Russ Bickerstaff
Just a couple of days ago, The Milwaukee Rep sent out a press release on its upcoming production of Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Steps. The comic Patrick Barlow stage adaptation of Hitchcock’s 1935 mystery thriller calls for an ensemble of four. As there were over thirty actors in the original film, the comedy calls for Irma Vep—style quick changes. Sounds like fun. The press release included ...