Cinema: Police Blotter

The 39 Steps (Rank; 20th Century-Fox) suggests that if few figures in the movie world can fill Alfred Hitchcock's trousers, fewer still are qualified to retrace his Steps. The 1935 Hitchcock version of The 39 Steps that starred Madeleine Carroll and the late Robert Donat was a sensitively controlled crescendo of excitement—perhaps the best .chase picture of its generation. The new version, directed by Britain's Ralph (Doctor in the House) Thomas, is simply a pleasant little comedy of murders.

The plot remains pretty much the same; both versions are based on the novel by the late John Buchan. The hero (Kenneth More),...

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