I’m honored to be a guest on this week’s Christian Humanist Podcast, in which regular cohost David Grubbs, fellow guest Todd Pedlar, and I discuss The 39 Steps, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 espionage thriller starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll.
Over the course of the episode we discuss Hitchcock’s early filmography, from the silent era to his first big hits; the film’s source material, a “shocker” by Scots novelist John Buchan; the balance of humor and paranoia in the film; the film’s deft self-awareness; the ways in which Hitchcock paved the way for future espionage thrillers; a pair of amusing underwear salesmen; and much more.
Our discussion is part of the annual Christian Humanist Radio Network Halloween crossover, in which the various shows of the network swap hosts around for a series of themed episodes. While year’s theme is Hitchcock movies, previous years’ crossover themes have included The Twilight Zone—for which I joined The Book of Nature to discuss a few episodes, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”—the Firefly series, and the original Universal horror movie classics like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, and The Wolf Man.
If you’re interested in catching the other episodes in the series so far, check out Sectarian Review’s episode on Shadow of a Doubt, the Christian Feminist Podcast’s show on The Lady Vanishes, and City of Man’s show on Rear Window. Book of Nature is scheduled to drop an episode on Psycho tomorrow, which should be a must-listen. I’m especially looking forward to resident psychologist Charles Hackney’s perspective on the film.
You can listen in on the embedded Stitcher player above or via iTunes or other fine podcasting apps. The 39 Steps itself is in the public domain; you can view it on YouTube here.
Thanks for listening! I’m blessed and honored to be connected with such an intelligent and fun network of people. Hope y’all enjoy listening as much as I did participating.