6.6/10
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The 39 Steps (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 13 March 1959 (UK)
In London, a diplomat accidentally becomes involved in the death of a British agent who's after a spy ring that covets British military secrets.

Director:

Ralph Thomas

Writers:

Frank Harvey (screenplay), John Buchan (based upon the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth More ... Richard Hannay
Taina Elg ... Fisher
Brenda de Banzie Brenda de Banzie ... Nellie Lumsden (as Brenda De Banzie)
Barry Jones ... Professor Logan
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Lumsden
Faith Brook ... Nannie
Michael Goodliffe ... Brown
James Hayter ... Mr. Memory
Duncan Lamont ... Kennedy
Jameson Clark Jameson Clark ... McDougal
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ... Sheriff (as Andrew Cruikshank)
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Milkman
Betty Henderson Betty Henderson ... Mrs. McDougal
Joan Hickson ... Miss Dobson
Sidney James ... Perce
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Storyline

Richard Hannay witnesses a hit-and-run involving a woman pushing a pram. Looking in the pram he sees a gun instead of a baby. He tracks the woman down and she reveals that she is a secret agent trying to stop foreign spies leaving the country with important military secrets. Later that night she is murdered in Hannay's flat. Hannay takes it on himself to thwart the enemy agents. This involves travelling to Scotland and keeping one step ahead of the police who are looking for him in connection with the murder of the woman. Written by ledostef, blackpool

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Suspenseful Manhunt in History!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 March 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

39 escalones See more »

Filming Locations:

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The locomotive hauling the train to Scotland was 60027 Merlin,an A4 Pacific loco that lasted just six more years until it was scrapped in 1965. Six of this class remain with preservation societies. Four in Britain, two in North America. See more »

Goofs

When Hannay is on the train to Scotland he is described as having brown hair and gray eyes. However when describing himself to the inn-keeper he states that he has brown hair and hazel eyes. See more »

Quotes

Kennedy: [Staking out Hannay's flat] Have you ever tried suckling pig?
Brown: No.
Kennedy: Tender as a baby.
Brown: Haven't tried that either.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nankai no noroshi (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

Does it matter if the film is not true to the book.
21 September 2001 | by jon-285See all my reviews

An enjoyable adventure, notable for good location shots of London, not the obvious tourist's traps, and the highlands of Scotland. Having identifiable locations increases the local tourist trade, many people want to visit the"scene of the crime".

Does it matter that the film didn't follow the book too carefully. Was it entertainment in its own right, or do we want to follow the scenes and dialogue, like some old theatre and concert goers with their carefully annotated "libretti". No,the movie industry stands on its own feet, and of course it uses literature. Didn't the original author not take classical themes, innocent man accused of criminal activity, trustworthy persons in power turn out to be the baddies, boy meets girl, loses girl, refinds girl. There really cannot be total originallity in any modern work of creativity, all is based on what has gone before.

Thirty nine steps, a ripping good yarn, to be enjoyed in the spirit in which it was offered.


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