If you’re coming to see The 39 Steps, it doesn’t hurt to know a little about Alfred Hitchcock.
Though his body of work includes everything from dark farces like The Trouble with Harry to horror classics like Psycho and The Birds, Hitchcock was perhaps most in his element working in espionage. From The Maltese Falcon to The Bourne Identity, thrillers and spy films across the spectrum owe a debt to the Master of Suspense.
Among Hitchcock’s first and finest works are his classic spy thrillers, featuring secret societies and treacherous plots, icy assassins and smoldering femme fatales, double agents and triple crosses. Films like The 39 Steps and Foreign Correspondent are cinematic classics that still feel fresh and contemporary decades later.
Click here for a primer on Hitchcock’s finest espionage films—six movies where the acclaimed filmmaker’s mastery of the carefully timed reveal and the perfectly placed twist are at the top of their form.