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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 1,558 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:

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Williams of the Rank Organisation, this film's production studio, said of this remake in 1978: "The old films suffer technically against today's. The pace of modern films is much faster. The style of acting is different. Those old actors were marvelous, but if you consult the man in the street, he's more interested in seeing a current artist than someone who's been dead for years . . . You have to go back in time to tell a story that doesn't have to face seventies problems. What people are nostalgic for isn't necessarily any particular period, but the happier values that are missing today". See more »

Goofs

While in Scotland, as a guest at the ancestral home and on the heaths, Hannay, wears Cherry Red Dr Marten Airwear boots (first invented in 1960). These are first seen under a chair while he is changing in the bedroom. See more »

Connections

Version of The 39 Steps (1935) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not really a remake
18 March 2007 | by (Penarth, Wales) – See all my reviews

It's hardly fair to compare this to the Hitchcock version (which was made when Buchan was not yet a well-known author). I think the Hitchcock film is the better as a film, although there are a few stodgy moments (with the crofter, for instance), but lots of lovely visual ideas to compensate (the Bridge scene, the missing digit, and the ending). But Hitchcock's is not a filming of Buchan's novel. It's something quite different. The first remake (with Kenneth More) was a remake of the Hitchcock film, not the book. With this version, we were told it would be faithful to the original, but, yes, the ending is stolen from an old Will Hay film (which was very much before its time, with its black humour). So this is not really a remake of the Hitchcock film, but neither is it faithful to Buchan (which I must re-read). But it is enjoyable, the period feel is good, and I personally like Ed Welch's concerto score.


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