#1 The 39 Steps (1935)

Naturally getting started off with one by a master, Alfred Hitchcock.
I had wanted to watch this and had it waiting on the computer when I got home from my trip. Then I realized while I was away that it appears in my favorite book Catcher in the Rye (which I try to read every year around Christmas time), as one of the few movies the Holden can tolerate and in particular because Phoebe has the whole movie memorized.

I mean if you tell old Phoebe something she knows exactly what the hell you’re talking about. I mean you can even take her anywhere with you. If you take her to a lousy movie, for instance, she knows it’s a lousy movie. If you take her to a pretty good movie, she knows it’s a pretty good movie. D.B. and I took her to see this French movie, The Baker’s Wife, with Raimu in it. It killed her. Her favourite is The 39 Steps, though, with Robert Donat. She knows the whole goddamn movie by heart, because I’ve taken her to see it about ten times. When old Donat comes up from this Scotch farmhouse, for instance, when he’s running away from the cops and all, Pheobe’ll say right out loud in the movie – right when the Scotch guy in the picture says it – ‘Can you eat the herring?’ She knows all the talk by heart. And when this professor in the picture, that really jolly German spy, sticks up his little finger with part of the middle joint missing, to show Robert Donat, old Pheobe beats him to it – she holds up her little finger at me in the dark, right in front of my face.

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