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The 39 Steps (1935)

Unrated | | Mystery, Thriller | 1 August 1935 (USA)
1:28 | Trailer

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A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.



(adapted from the novel by), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Godfrey Tearle ...
Mrs. Jordan
Frank Cellier ...
The Sheriff
Gus McNaughton ...
Commercial Traveller (as Gus Mac Naughton)
Jerry Verno ...
Commercial Traveller
Peggy Simpson ...


Richard Hannay is a Canadian visitor to London. At the end of "Mr Memory"'s show in a music hall, he meets Annabella Smith who is running away from secret agents. He accepts to hide her in his flat, but in the night she is murdered. Fearing he could be accused on the girl's murder, Hannay goes on the run to break the spy ring. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Mystery | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 August 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les 39 marches  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System: at Shepherd's Bush London)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: All the characters are entirely fictitious. See more »


Hannay gets the train from London to Scotland, but the train on that journey is seen bursting out of Box Tunnel near Bath, which is nowhere near the line from London to Scotland. The locomotive changes from a London and North-Eastern one, with a prominent sign "Flying Scotsman" above the smoke-box door, to a Great Western one, with no "Flying Scotsman" sign. See more »


[first lines]
Music hall announcer: Ladies and Gentleman, with your kind attention, and permission, I have the honor of presenting to you one of the most remarkable men in the world.
Heckler in Audience: How remarkable? He's sweating!
See more »


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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A wonderfully entertaining thriller that has influenced dozens of subsequent movies since.
20 April 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

While I personally prefer Hitchcock's darker, more troubling movies, especially 'Vertigo' and 'Psycho', as far as his straightforward thrillers go 'The 39 Steps' is still one of his most entertaining. The man on the run because of false accusations or "knowing too much" motif may or may not have been invented here, but it certainly influenced dozens of subsequent thrillers, all the way up until contemporary movies like 'Enemy Of The State' and 'Minority Report'. Robert Donat makes a great hero, and Madeleine Carroll is charming and funny as his reluctant partner. The chemistry and repartee between the two is something that has been copied countless times since. Some people seem to regard 'The 39 Steps' as a practice run for Hitch's later 'North By Northwest', but I prefer the earlier movie. It may not be complex and deep, but it's great fun, and full of old fashioned movie magic. A classic thriller that is still wonderfully entertaining, and should prove to be enjoyable to almost everyone who watches it. Recommended.

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