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The 39 Steps (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 13 March 1959 (UK)
Richard Hannay witnesses a hit-and-run involving a woman pushing a pram. Looking in the pram he sees a gun instead of a baby. He tracks the woman down and she reveals that she is a secret ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (based upon the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Fisher
Brenda de Banzie ...
Nellie Lumsden (as Brenda De Banzie)
...
Professor Logan
Reginald Beckwith ...
Lumsden
Faith Brook ...
Nannie
...
Brown
...
Duncan Lamont ...
Kennedy
Jameson Clark ...
McDougal
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Sheriff (as Andrew Cruikshank)
Leslie Dwyer ...
Milkman
Betty Henderson ...
Mrs. McDougal
Joan Hickson ...
Miss Dobson
...
Perce
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Storyline

Richard Hannay witnesses a hit-and-run involving a woman pushing a pram. Looking in the pram he sees a gun instead of a baby. He tracks the woman down and she reveals that she is a secret agent trying to stop foreign spies leaving the country with important military secrets. Later that night she is murdered in Hannay's flat. Hannay takes it on himself to thwart the enemy agents. This involves travelling to Scotland and keeping one step ahead of the police who are looking for him in connection with the murder of the woman. Written by ledostef, blackpool

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Suspenseful Manhunt in History!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

|

Release Date:

13 March 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

39 escalones  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The copyright year in Roman numerals displayed near the beginning of the titles is malformed. If the correct copyright year is '1959' then the correct Roman numeral would be: 'MCMLIX'. However, the displayed Roman numeral is 'MCMLVIX' which is nonsensical. The displayed number would be: '1950+5+9' if it were valid. It is surmised that the designer thought '50' and added a '5'. See more »

Goofs

Hannay arrives at St Catherine's as the lecture is about to start. The lecture is billed as starting at 6.30 pm. It is September, so given that, by the time he is interrupted and the spies drive him and Miss Fisher the long distance in the opposite direction to Inverary , it would be dark yet, when the tyre blows and they escape it appears to be mid afternoon. See more »

Quotes

Kennedy: [Staking out Hannay's flat] Have you ever tried suckling pig?
Brown: No.
Kennedy: Tender as a baby.
Brown: Haven't tried that either.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Call the Midwife: Episode #3.3 (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lackluster Remake
1 October 2004 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I can't remember much of the original film version of THE 39 STEPS but seeing this remake a couple of days ago I got the distinct feeling that it's rather inferior to the Hitchcock version . Much of the problem lies with the director Ralph Thomas who has a long and successful track record of making comedies and he seems unsuited for thrillers , everything seems a little too lightweight here and it's not helped by the cheery and jovial musical score or indeed Sid James playing a straight role as a lorry driver . It should also be pointed out that while Kenneth More plays an affable type of hero in Richard Hannay he lacks the dashing charm of Robert Donat in the original and is probably less effective than the slightly angry young man of Robert Powell in the latter 70s remake . More's Richard Hannay would probably have appeared too much of an old fashioned hero in 1959 to be taken entirely serious . He's by no means bad but remember DR NO was just around the corner and that movie turned the world upside down as to what made a cinematic hero . That's the problem , everything is too old fashioned from the polite tea parties to actresses in their late 20s/early 30s playing schoolgirls

There is another problem and that's the screenplay sticks to closely to the tone of the original . I dispute what it says in the IMDb trivia section about this movie being a shot for shot remake of the original Hitchcock version but it totally lacks an updated feel . War clouds were approaching when THE 39 STEPS was made in 1935 while the 1970s version used the approaching great war as its backdrop but does THE THIRTY NINE STEPS of 1959 feel like the West is engaged on a cold war crusade against communism ? There seems to be little sense of a political time and place with the bad guys coming across more of a criminal gang than traitors to the country . Unless I'm mistaken I don't think the word " Communism " features once

A very disappointing remake . I recommend the original or the 1978 version


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