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The 39 Steps (1935) Poster

(1935)

Trivia

Director Cameo 

Alfred Hitchcock:  about seven minutes in, tossing some litter as Richard and Annabella run from the music hall.
Jump to: Director Trademark (3)
Before filming the scene where Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll run through the countryside, Alfred Hitchcock handcuffed them together and pretended for several hours to have lost the key in order to put them in the right frame of mind for such a situation.
Madeleine Carroll suffered at the hands of Alfred Hitchcock's quest for realism, right down to the real welts on her wrists from the long days of being handcuffed to Robert Donat.
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According to one of his sons, John Buchan (upon whose 1915 novel the film was based) was impressed with the film, despite its departures from his original plot.
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The 62 imported sheep, upon arriving at the sound stage, immediately went to work on the bracken and bushes that had been brought with them. The infuriated crew had to replace the real plants with ones hastily bought from a local nursery.
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The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film.
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The bridge on which the train stops to search for Hannay (25 minutes from the start of the film), is the famous railway bridge over the river Firth of Forth, build from 1884 till 1889. It was then one of the most complicated works of engineering craftsmanship. It spans 2,5 km.
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The scene at the farm at 30:00 from the start, bears striking resemblance to the first scene of the opera The Walküre from Richard Wagner. Hitchcock must have seen the opera. The unhappy farmer's wife, the suspicious husband, the newcomer. The glimpsing over the table back and forth, the sexual tension.
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Alfred Hitchcock always regarded this as one of his favorite films.
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Robert Donat suffered from an illness that would cause him to shake and tremble, meaning that the actor would often fight shy of long takes. Nevertheless, the scene where he has to make an impromptu speech to a paying crowd shows that he was able to mask this ailment.
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This was Alfred Hitchcock's follow-up to his first international success, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). It proved to be just as successful, quickly establishing the director as a box office draw.
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Gaumont were determined to crack the American market with this adventure so invested heavily in it. This meant importing named stars like Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll.
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Alfred Hitchcock's 22nd film.
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Madeleine Carroll only met Robert Donat on her first day of filming.
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The concept of fugitives being manacled together while they escape has been featured in many other films, notably Stanley Kramer's The Defiant Ones (1958), Fled (1996) and the Richard Gere-Kim Basinger starrer _No Mercy_.
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[Peggy Ashcroft in a 1985 interview] My part took only four days to do... (Alfred Hitchcock was) enormous fun One laughed a great deal with Hitchcock. I've been told by other people that he wasn't always kind. I found him very kind.
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Visa de censure en France (1951): #11533/D.
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Director Trademark 

Alfred Hitchcock:  [MacGuffin]  The secret McGuffin in The 39 Steps is retold by Mr. Memory (Wylie Watson).
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Alfred Hitchcock:  [Innocent man wrongly accused]  Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) is framed for the murder of Annabelle (Lucie Mannheim).
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Alfred Hitchcock:  [stairs]  Pamela listening to a conversation from the top of a staircase.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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