A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.


Alfred Hitchcock


John Buchan (adapted from the novel by), Charles Bennett (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
4,711 ( 1,972)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Robert Donat ... Richard Hannay
Madeleine Carroll ... Pamela
Lucie Mannheim ... Annabella Smith
Godfrey Tearle ... Professor Jordan
Peggy Ashcroft ... Crofter's Wife
John Laurie ... Crofter
Helen Haye ... Mrs. Jordan
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


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 agrees to hide her in his flat, but she is murdered during the night. Fearing that he could be accused of the murder, Hannay goes on the run to break the spy ring. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The MAN who put the MAN in roMANce in his first film since "Monte Carlo" !(print ad -Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Broadway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - January 11, 1936) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #56. See more »


Near the beginning of the film, in the scene with the Memory Man entertaining the audience by answering their questions, a woman yells out, "Who is the last British Heavyweight champion of the world?". Beside her is a man who mouths the woman's words in synch with her. See more »


[first lines]
Richard Hannay: Stall, please.
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!
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Remade as Chakravyuha (1978) See more »


In the Sweet By and By
Music by J.P. Webster (as Joseph P. Webster)
Played by Salvation Army band
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User Reviews

Spy Ring in Britain
24 December 2006 | by pkelloggSee all my reviews

Alfred Hitchcock directed this film in 1935. It's one of his greatest successes. The film is based on a novel by John Buchan, also known as Lord Tweedsmuir. The story has a Canadian mining engineer, Richard Hannay, unwillingly drawn into a spy chase when a woman unknown to him latches onto him as he's leaving a London theatre. She tells him she's a spy and that she needs his help. He's skeptical of her story, but he goes back to his London flat with her. Hannay is brilliantly played by actor Robert Donat. He turns out to be quite an interesting character, and a resourceful one at that. When the woman he returned home with turns up dead in his flat, Hannay flees London for Scotland, hoping to find a man he believes can clear him. The newspapers accuse Hannay of murder, so he knows he's a wanted man. During a chase through Scotland, Hannay finds he's not only pursued by the police for the murder he didn't commit, but by members of the spy ring the woman warned him about. Watch how he manages to deal with police, spies and a beautiful young woman played by Madeleine Carroll.

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Release Date:

1 August 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 39 Steps See more »


Box Office


GBP50,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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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