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.
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 <email@example.com>
Though it follows the general outline of John Buchan's book and captures much of its spirit, this movie version often diverges from the printed one. In the book, the Robert Donat character has a South African background. Here, he's Canadian. The book has no female heroine. The Madeleine Carroll character was added to the movie to provide a romantic interest, apparently in hopes of making the story more appealing to female patrons. There are no scenes in a music hall in the book and thus no "Mr. Memory" character. The explanation this character gives for the term "39 Steps" is different from that provided in the book. See more »
Lights visible when police search the train. See more »
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 »
One of the most enjoyable Hitchcock thrillers.Still as good after repeated viewing.Robert Donat stars as the innocent man with a murder charge on his head and accidently mixed up in a spy story.Trying to expose a spy-ring and clear his name he flees to Scotland and encounters a lot of people who help and hinder him.
Robert Donat gives one of his best performances of his career as the protagonist.The chemistry between him and Madeleine Carroll,and especially a young Peggy Ashcroft (A brilliant performance)is wonderful to behold.John Laurie must also be mentioned,as the sinister farmer. One of the best chase-movies ever. Rating: ***** out of *****
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