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The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978)

 -  Thriller  -  2 May 1980 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,500 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 5 critic

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 »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Appleton
Eric Porter ...
Lomas
...
Alex
...
Scudder
...
Sir Walter Bullivant
...
Bayliss
Donald Pickering ...
Marshall
...
Porton
...
David
Andrew Keir ...
Lord Rohan
Robert Flemyng ...
Magistrate
William Squire ...
Harkness
Paul McDowell ...
McLean
...
Tillotson
Edit

Storyline

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, bursts into his rooms one night and tells him a story that Prussian 'sleeper' agents are planning to pre-start World War I by murdering a visiting foreign minister. However, Scudder is murdered and Hannay is framed for the death by the 'sleepers'. Fleeing to Scotland Hannay attempts to clear his name and to stop the agents with the aid of Alex Mackenzie but not only is he is chased by Chief Supt Lomas for Scudder's death but by the agents who is headed by Appleton who has managed to hide himself in a high-placed position in the British Government... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A game of terror begins. The only clues... Are the victims. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 39 Steps  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The familiar story element of the man and woman being on the run hand-cuffed together was removed for this film version of John Buchan's source story of "The 39 Steps". Other story elements removed for the film from earlier versions included the characters of Mr Memory and the spy with the short finger. See more »

Goofs

The train that Hannay travels to Scotland is far too modern. The coaches were built by the LMS railway company which was formed in 1924 and the loco was built in after WW2. See more »

Connections

Followed by Hannay (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Stylish and exciting
5 February 2000 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The best-known film version of John Buchan's famous novel was made by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935 but, although an excellent film in his typically playful style, it actually had little to do with the book. Ralph Thomas's 1959 remake was a dull affair. Don Sharp does a much better job.

The film reverts to the book's Edwardian setting and opens with a striking scene beside the fog-shrouded Thames, which reminds one of Sharp's work for Hammer Films. Robert Powell is an agile and likeable hero, supported by a strong cast and the climax, cleverly borrowed from the Will Hay classic "My Learned Friend", has Hannay attempting (literally) to turn back time.

It was reported that, when this film premiered at a West London cinema, the audience burst into spontaneous applause at the end!


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