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The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978)

PG | | Thriller | 2 May 1980 (USA)
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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Thriller

A remake of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

Director: Robert Towne
Thriller

A contemporary setting of John Buchan's classic novel - Engineer Richard Hannay finds himself caught up with analyst Kate Maybury, as they race against the clock to save the country from the Thirty Nine Steps.

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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
...
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 »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

2 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 39 Steps  »

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

The only big-screen cinema version of John Buchan's "The 39 Steps" novel which was not set in the same year that the movie was made and released (which was 1914) as was the case with the two earlier films, 1935's The 39 Steps (1935) and 1959's The 39 Steps (1959). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hannay: I thought he was a harmless lunatic!
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Connections

Referenced in Shanghai Knights (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the best films ever made by Rank Org.
3 September 1999 | by (Prague, Czech Republic) – See all my reviews

Most of the people I spoke with about the 39 steps refer to the Hitchcock's 1935 version as the best one. Well most of these people haven't seen the 1978 version. If any of you will have a chance to see it, don't miss it as this version is story closer to John Buchan's book than Mr. Hitchcock's film.

Unfortunately, the 1978 version wasn't released on video in Europe (I believe it was released only in the US).

Robert Powell - stunning; David Warner - excellent; Prussian Agents - villains at their best.

b.t.w. very good music by Ed Welch.


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