IMDb > The 39 Steps (1935)
The 39 Steps
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The 39 Steps (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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The 39 Steps -- A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and he stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring trying to steal top secret information.
The 39 Steps -- Three Reasons Criterion trailer

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   34,428 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Buchan (adapted from the novel by)
Charles Bennett (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The 39 Steps on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 August 1935 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's Great...It's Grand...It's Glorious! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(12 articles)
The inventor of modern horror
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 16 June 2012, 7:15 AM, PDT)

The Forgotten: Black Shirts, Red Faces
 (From MUBI. 25 April 2012, 12:34 PM, PDT)

Don Sharp obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 22 December 2011, 2:31 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Espionage at the Music Hall See more (198 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Donat ... Hannay

Madeleine Carroll ... Pamela
Lucie Mannheim ... Miss Smith
Godfrey Tearle ... Professor Jordan

Peggy Ashcroft ... Crofter's Wife

John Laurie ... Crofter
Helen Haye ... Mrs. Jordan
Frank Cellier ... The Sheriff

Wylie Watson ... Memory
Gus McNaughton ... Commercial Traveller (as Gus Mac Naughton)
Jerry Verno ... Commercial Traveller
Peggy Simpson ... Maid
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ivor Barnard ... Political Meeting Chairman (uncredited)
Charles Bennett ... Second Passerby Near the Bus (uncredited)
Noel Birkin ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Ex-Det. Sergt. Bishop ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Matthew Boulton ... Fake Police Officer (uncredited)
Edgar K. Bruce ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Kate Cutler ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Philip Desborough ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Pat Hagate ... M.C. Who Introduces Mr Memory (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Passerby Near the Bus (uncredited)
Carleton Hobbs ... Fake Policeman #2 (uncredited)
Vida Hope ... Usherette (uncredited)
Robert Horton ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Elizabeth Inglis ... Professor Jordan's Daughter (uncredited)
James Knight ... Detective at London Palladium (uncredited)
Hubert Leslie ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Miles Malleson ... Palladium Manager (uncredited)
Quentin McPhearson ... Clergyman on the Flying Scotsman (uncredited)
Phyllis Morris ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Frederick Piper ... The Milkman (uncredited)
Hilda Trevelyan ... Innkeeper's Wife (uncredited)
John Turnbull ... Scottish Police Inspector (uncredited)
S.J. Warmington ... Scotland Yard Man (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
John Buchan (adapted from the novel by)

Charles Bennett (adaptation)

Ian Hay (dialogue)

Produced by
Michael Balcon .... producer (uncredited)
Ivor Montagu .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Jack Beaver (uncredited)
Louis Levy (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Bernard Knowles (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Derek N. Twist  (as D.N. Twist)
 
Art Direction by
Oscar Friedrich Werndorff  (as O. Werndorff)
Albert Jullion (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pen Tennyson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Albert Whitlock .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
A. Birch .... recordist
 
Special Effects by
Philippo Guidobaldi .... miniature builder (uncredited)
Jack Whitehead .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Reg Johnson .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Peter Sargent .... clapper-boy (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marianne .... wardrobe
Joe Strassner .... dress designer (as J. Strassner)
 
Music Department
Louis Levy .... musical director
Louis Levy .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Alma Reville .... continuity
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
86 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System: at Shepherd's Bush London)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp (DVD rating) | Argentina:13 (original rating) | Australia:G (DVD rating) | Australia:PG (original rating) | Finland:K-8 (1987) | Finland:K-16 (1936) | France:U | Netherlands:9 (2009 re-release) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1935) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:12 (2002) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (re-release) (re-rating) (2008) | UK:U (video rating) (1986) (1998) (2002) (2004) (2005) | USA:Unrated | USA:TV-G (TV rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Visa de censure en France (1951): #11533/D.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: The serial number of the autogyro has been reversed, showing that the stock shot has been reversed for effect.See more »
Quotes:
[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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (2009) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Dancing With My ShadowSee more »

FAQ

What did the old man mean when he asked Mr Memory "What causes pip in poultry?"
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What did the girl with the irritating voice ask Mr Memory?
See more »
26 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Espionage at the Music Hall, 15 July 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Alfred Hitchcock followed up his first international success, The Man Who Knew Too Much with an even better film, The Thirty Nine Steps. Hitchcock must have had a particular fondness for this film because I see elements of it North By Northwest, Saboteur, and Torn Curtain.

There is no director in the history of the cinema who liked a good chase film better than Alfred Hitchcock. This one's a beauty with a wrongly accused of murder Robert Donat, running from London to Scotland and back again to find some spies to clear his name. Along the way Donat picks up a lovely and first unwilling traveling companion in Madeleine Carroll who is arguably the first of his blonde heroines.

Donat and Ronald Colman rivaled for roles somewhat, they seem always to be cast as the same type of characters. Of course Donat worked primarily in the UK and on stage while Colman was strictly a movie actor since the silent days. Colman is the only other guy who could have done this and other Donat parts. It's a pity there are none like either of these guys around today.

When Geoffrey Tearle thinks he's disposed of Donat by shooting him, Donat's life got saved by a hymn book in his breast pocket. Whether that was a device in the original novel by John Buchan or something Alfred Hitchcock improvised the inspiration for it was definitely taken from the attempted assassination of former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. While running for president on the Progressive ticket that year, Roosevelt was shot in the chest in Milwaukee. What saved his life was a copy of his speech and an eyeglass case in his breast pocket.

The whole thing here is how the espionage is being carried out and I won't reveal it. But if you've seen Torn Curtain remember why Paul Newman was the only guy they could send on that espionage mission.

This is probably Hitchcock's best film from his pre-Hollywood period and shouldn't be missed.

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