RARA-AVIS: Re: Books to Films

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 29 Jun 2007


Re your coment below:

"Buchan's 'The Thirty-Nine Steps' is a classic of its kind (not hard-boiled or noir) and I'd say it's highly arguable whether the excellent and quite different Hitchcock film is superior."

I never meant to imply that Buchan's novel was bad. In fact, I quite agree that it's a classic, and I've also enjoyed the other books in the Hannay series.

Nonetheless, I think Hitchcock's version is a better film than the novel is a novel. Better crafted, better written, wittier, plus it has a romantic tension totally lacking in the book.

I also regard Hitchcock's two uncredited remakes, SABOTEUR (not to be confused with SABOTAGE) and NORTH BY NORTHWEST as superior to Buchan's novel. I didn't include them in this discussion, despite their clearly being loose remakes of THE 39 STEPS, because they're
"officially" original screenplays and, consquently, don't credit Buchan as the author of the source material.

I never meant to imply that any of the source books of the films I listed were bad. Just that the films were better.


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