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The 39 Steps (1959)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  13 March 1959 (UK)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,230 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 7 critic

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:
...
Taina Elg ...
Fisher
Brenda de Banzie ...
Nellie Lumsden (as Brenda De Banzie)
...
Professor Logan
Reginald Beckwith ...
Lumsden
Faith Brook ...
Nannie
...
Brown
James Hayter ...
Duncan Lamont ...
Kennedy
Jameson Clark ...
McDougal
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Sheriff (as Andrew Cruikshank)
Leslie Dwyer ...
Milkman
Betty Henderson ...
Mrs. McDougal
Joan Hickson ...
Miss Dobson
Sidney James ...
Perce
Edit

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

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 March 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

39 escalones  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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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

When Hannay escapes from a window, he jumps into a lorry full of straw bales. Later there is a shot in the lorry and there is no bales, only sheep. 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

 
Escapist fun.
16 April 2005 | by (Stockton, England) – See all my reviews

First things first, Hitchcock's 'The 39 Steps' is and always will be a classic of the British cinema and Ralph Thomas's remake (it's unashamedly a remake, rather than an adaptation of the novel) fails to equal it. However, once you get past that fact, on its own terms this is rather an enjoyable little movie.

Kenneth More is one of my favourite performers, perhaps not the greatest actor in the world, but one who has a charismatic personality. If he doesn't quite equal Robert Donat's original 'Richard Hannay', he comes close and invests the role with genuine warmth. Taina Elg's foreign heroine however, though very attractive is no Madeleine Carroll and is perhaps the movie's weakest link.

The stars are backed up by a splendid cast of familiar British character actors, ranging from Sid James's cameo as a truck driver, to Brenda De Banzie's turn as a friendly, man-hungry roadside café owner.

Another plus is the glorious Scottish locations (genuine this time, as opposed to the original's studio mock-ups), filmed in luscious 'Eastmancolor'.

All in all, while Ralph Thomas is no Alfred Hitchcock (but then, there's only one Hitch), the remake is ideal entertainment, perfect viewing for a dark winter's night, curled up in your armchair with hot coffee and toast by your side.


22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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