32 user 8 critic

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 »



(screenplay), (based upon the novel by)


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The year is 1914 and Richard Hannay, Mining Engineer who is visiting Britain for a short time before returning to South Africa, is shocked when one of his neighbours, Colonel Scudder, ... See full summary »

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Robert Powell, David Warner, Eric Porter
The 39 Steps (TV Movie 2008)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Richard Hannay, a mining engineer on holiday from the African colonies, finds London socialite life terribly dull. Yet it's more then he bargained for when secret agent, Scudder, bursts ... See full summary »

Director: James Hawes
Stars: Rupert Penry-Jones, Lydia Leonard, David Haig
The 39 Steps (1935)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
Genevieve (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

It's time for the annual London to Brighton antique car rally, and Alan McKim and Ambrose Claverhouse are not going to let their friendship stop them from trying to humiliate each other. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Cornelius
Stars: Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WW2, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer
Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The true story of the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his ill-fated expedition to try to be the first man to discover the South Pole - only to find that the murderously cold ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: John Mills, Derek Bond, Diana Churchill
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man seeks revenge but will he destroy himself in the process? After a long jail term for a crime he did not commit, a man is torn between revenge (which will probably destroy him) or ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: John Mills, John McCallum, Elizabeth Sellars
The Scapegoat (1959)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An English schoolteacher meets his lookalike, a French count; and unwillingly swaps identities with him.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Alec Guinness, Bette Davis, Nicole Maurey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

To further the aims of the St Trinian's Marriage Bureau run by Flash Harry, the school contrives to win a competition with a European "Goodwill" trip as prize, to the horror of the Ministry... See full summary »

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Terry-Thomas, George Cole, Joyce Grenfell
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

These schoolgirls are more interested in racing forms than books as they try to get-rich-quick. They are abetted by the head-mistress' brother, played by Alastair Sim, who also plays the head-mistress.

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, George Cole
The War Lover (1962)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Buzz Rickson is a dare-devil World War II bomber pilot with a death wish. Failing at everything not involving flying, Rickson lives for the most dangerous missions. His crew lives with this... See full summary »

Director: Philip Leacock
Stars: Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, Shirley Anne Field

A remake of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

Director: Robert Towne


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


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


The Most Suspenseful Manhunt in History!


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

13 March 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

39 escalones  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Peter Vaughan. See more »


The car following Hannay in Scotland starts off as a grey Ford Zephyr/Zodiac, as the rogue policemen arrive at the school, the car turns into a Ford Consul. Later as the car has a flat tire it is once again a Zephyr. See more »


Fisher: I'm not going to lie on that bed!
Richard Hannay: As long as you're chained to me you can't very well avoid it. Come on.
Fisher: Ow!
Fisher: I wish you wouldn't keep saying 'ow' like that. In a respectable house it might be misinterpreted.
See more »


Featured in The Unforgettable Sid James (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Better than it's often given credit for
28 December 2002 | by (Ascot, England) – See all my reviews

Often criticised for being a shot-for-shot remake of the Hitchcock original, this film is in fact a perky little thriller which benefits from Kenneth More being a more sympathetic leading man than Robert Donat (he was somewhat aloof) in the '39 version. True, the film trades heavily off the script for the Hitchcock version, and true it does not go back to the original novel for context, spirit or historical setting in the way the '78 version does; but for me, the film is the jewel among the three. As well as a pacy and fun thriller, it catches the spirit of the England and Scotland of the time. It is also interesting to note the role of the two hit-men characters; they are shadowy background figures in the '39 version, but here they are more fully flushed out (and well played by Duncan Lamont and Michael Goodlife). In the '78 version (and the unofficial remake called North By Northwest) the role of the hit-men is further developed and the suspense increased as a result.

Other things to watch out for in the '59 version are Sidney James, Brian Oulton and a host of supporting players (not to mention Tania Elg's legs in the remake of the stocking-removing scene, all the more intriguing for being in colour). Long available on VHS in the UK, this film now sadly seems to be deleted and is much missed.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the 39 steps 59 miriam2024
brenda de banzie psloe8
Where was that car ferry going? eandtslattery
The 39 Steps original ratio? BillyFisher
Great Steam Train Footage christopher_sargeant
Joan Collins?? jrobertson-5
Discuss The 39 Steps (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: