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The 39 Steps (1935)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Thriller | 1 August 1935 (USA)
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A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

John Buchan (adapted from the novel by), Charles Bennett (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,749 ( 741)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Donat ... Hannay
Madeleine Carroll ... Pamela
Lucie Mannheim ... Miss Smith
Godfrey Tearle Godfrey Tearle ... Professor Jordan
Peggy Ashcroft ... Crofter's Wife
John Laurie ... Crofter
Helen Haye ... Mrs. Jordan
Frank Cellier Frank Cellier ... The Sheriff
Wylie Watson ... Memory
Gus McNaughton ... Commercial Traveller (as Gus Mac Naughton)
Jerry Verno Jerry Verno ... Commercial Traveller
Peggy Simpson Peggy Simpson ... Maid
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Storyline

Richard Hannay is a Canadian visitor to London. At the end of "Mr Memory"'s show in a music hall, he meets Annabella Smith who is running away from secret agents. He accepts to hide her in his flat, but in the night she is murdered. Fearing he could be accused on the girl's murder, Hannay goes on the run to break the spy ring. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

FRom the World Famous Novel by JOHN BUCHAN - Canada's New Governor General (original print ad-Canada) See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

39 escalones See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£60,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (recorded on) (British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System: at Shepherd's Bush London)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to one of his sons, John Buchan (upon whose 1915 novel the film was based) was impressed with the film, despite its departures from his original plot. See more »

Goofs

When Hannay and Pamela are in the hotel room, he dries her stockings by placing them under two china ornaments on a shelf over the fireplace. Later, when she removes her stockings from the shelf, the two china ornaments are now spaced much further apart, with another ornament in between them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Music hall announcer: Ladies and Gentleman, with your kind attention, and permission, I have the honor of presenting to you one of the most remarkable men in the world.
Heckler in Audience: How remarkable? He's sweating!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Foul Play (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Tinkle, Tinkle, Tinkle
(uncredited)
Written by Harry M. Woods
Played by Music Hall pit orchestra and
Danced by the chorus girls
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Don't be put off by its age - this one is worth seeing.
13 April 2005 | by palinurus2See all my reviews

If what you want from a thriller is in-yer-face mugging, special effects, noise, a booming soundtrack, gore, nudity and flashy editing, this one is not for you.

However if you are a more discerning moviegoer who values a great script, exquisite understated acting, wit, humour and intelligence, and you are willing to overlook the technically rough bits (come on, this was 1935, you cannot measure it by 2005 standards !!) - then enjoy, because you are in for a treat.

Robert Donat is one of the most charming heroes that ever graced the screen, and but for his frail health and loathing of the Hollywood pzazz (he later refused some great movie parts offered to him, which eventually went to the likes of Erroll Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks Jr) he might have become one of the greatest. Watch the dinner scene with the crofters, in which he manages to convey his plight to the wife entirely without words. Great acting. Also the wickedly funny bravura piece at the political rally.

Madeleine Carroll must be among the coolest and feistiest of Hitchcock's favoured blondes, not as insipid or irrelevant as many of the others were. She is a veritable icicle and it takes a long time for her to thaw, but then watch the sparks fly.

I feel a little sad for the people who cannot be bothered to check out this movie because of the tinny sound or the b&w photography. Forget about those superficialities and concentrate on the real values - the script, the acting, the lighting, photography and camera work -, just allow yourself to get carried away with the fast paced action, and you'll love it.


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