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The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978)

PG  |   |  Thriller  |  2 May 1980 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,533 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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Title: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978)

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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:

Every second counts in the adventure of a lifetime! 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

One of two adaptations of stories by John Buchan that debuted in the year of 1978. The other was the television series Huntingtower (1978). See more »

Goofs

At the health resort where Hannay is drugged by the Prussian agents, a concert is taking place. As the guests assemble, we see a poster advertising the concert, which gives the date as Wednesday, 13 March 1914. 13 March that year was a Friday. See more »

Connections

Version of The 39 Steps (1935) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The closest version to the book
16 July 2004 | by (Manchester, England) – See all my reviews

While it may not be the best version of the film, it is certainly the best interpretation of Buchan's book.

I personally am not a great fan of Robert Powell, and it's this that may hinder this film, but I do believe he has caught the character of Richard Hannay, a cocksure South African mining engineer back in the 'old country' bored and ready to return when he meets a spy (Scudder) who is killed in his apartment.

The character of Scudder is excellently played by John Mills, and is a prefect recreation of the character in the book.

If you've not done so, read the book. There's no silly handcuffed love interest in it and is a fascinating read. Then, move onto "Greenmantle", and the rest of Buchan's books containing Hannay,


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

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