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Re: The Thirty-nine Steps (1935).


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It was probably Hitchcock's decision for her to wear those dresses. He used to fuss over all details when it came to the physical presentation of many of his leading ladies. Carroll, of course, was the first of the "Hitchcock blondes."

Madeleine Carroll may have been, arguably, even more beautiful in her second film with the director, Secret Agent, despite the fact that he had the actress play one scene with cold cream spread on her face. Like a puppet master, it was like he had fun de-glamourizing the actress then glamourizing her again in the next scene.

Carroll, by the way, is terrific in this second, lesser known Hitchcock film, as well. It's a shame, though, that Robert Donat did not appear in it, as had been the original casting intention, and that the actress got stuck with a sexless stick like John Gielgud as her leading man.


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