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The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978)

PG | | Crime, History, Mystery | 2 May 1980 (USA)
In 1914 London, a mining engineer and an ex-intelligence service British colonel try to prevent murderous Prussian agents from executing a political assassination designed to trigger WW1.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Appleton
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Lomas
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Alex
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Scudder
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Sir Walter Bullivant
...
Bayliss
...
Marshall
...
Porton
...
David
...
Lord Rohan
Robert Flemyng ...
Magistrate
...
Harkness
Paul McDowell ...
McLean
...
Tillotson
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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

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Every second counts in the adventure of a lifetime! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

2 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 39 Steps  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978), is the only one of the four versions of the story to not-numerate the "thirty-nine" phrase in the film's title, the others all being number titled as The 39 Steps (1935), The 39 Steps (1959) and The 39 Steps (2008). See more »

Goofs

The newspaper in which Scudder learns of the murder of Lord Harkness is dated Saturday, March 4, 1914. March 4 that year was a Wednesday. See more »

Quotes

Hannay: I thought he was a harmless lunatic!
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Connections

Referenced in Octopussy (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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,


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