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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 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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

John Buchan (adapted from the novel by), Charles Bennett (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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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 ... 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 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

Taglines:

The "Monte Cristo" hero... 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

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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

Robert Donat suffered from an illness that would cause him to shake and tremble, meaning that he would often fight against having to do long takes. Nevertheless, the scene where he has to make an impromptu speech to a paying crowd shows that he was able to mask this ailment. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Referenced in Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Episode #1.7 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is a Song
(uncredited)
Written by Ray Noble and Max Kester
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Mr Memory" Inspiration for Terry Jones of Monty Python fame?
13 January 2007 | by howardmorleySee all my reviews

I could not get out of my head the thought that Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) gained inspiration from "Mr Memory" when he played his fussy, boring, bureaucratic characters in the famous comedy series.With Hitchcock you get a first rate thriller coupled with sophisticated comedy - a very entertaining mix.

For 1935 there is quite an erotic scene where Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll are handcuffed together while lying down on a double bed.I would be surprised if this scene got through the American film censors at the time, after all, "Extacy" (1932) starring Hedy Lamarr had been banned over there initially.I believe these two films were before the American "Hays Code" in Cinema had been been created.1940s censorship by contrast was far more draconian.My DVD shows the British Board of film censors certificate as an "A" which means for adults only.Even after 70 odd years the scene where Madeleine is pulling off (to dry) and putting on her stockings again is still quite erotic!I really liked the way Hitchcock gradually built up their initial hostile relationship into romance.He uses a similar device to "hook" the viewer in "The Lady Vanishes" (1938).

Oh how I wish Hitchcock had filmed sequels to both these films as he left this viewer wanting to see more of their leading men and ladies playing their respective characters!!.


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