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
Every second counts in the adventure of a lifetime!
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Did You Know?
Producer Greg Smith
was a fan of the novels by John Buchan
and wanted to make a film version of Buchan's 'The 39 Steps' that was "true to the period in which the novel was set, just prior to World War I, when Europe was one huge powder-keg and nobody knew what a world war was". See more
When the police and Hannay search Appleton's house, they find a dummy head with false hair, beard and moustache for Appleton to impersonate Sir Walter. Appleton had already left to go to Westminster to carry out his plan, but how could he without these vital items? See more
Liberal Conference Audience Member
Why don't you stop asking questions and tell us something?
Yes, I will tell you something. You're not awake! You wouldn't know if... if those two men who just walked in weren't German Sleeper Agents.
Version of The 39 Steps