6.6/10
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32 user 8 critic

The 39 Steps (1959)

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

Reginald Beckwith was cast as Lumsden at short notice after the originally cast actor withdrew because of an accident. See more »

Goofs

On the train to Scotland the schoolgirls had a capital letter "K" on their berets yet the school was St Catherines beginning with a "C" See more »

Quotes

Fisher: I'm not going to lie on that bed!
Richard Hannay: As long as you're chained to me you can't very well avoid it. Come on.
Fisher: Ow!
Fisher: I wish you wouldn't keep saying 'ow' like that. In a respectable house it might be misinterpreted.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Call the Midwife: Episode #3.3 (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Highly Enjoyable, Whatever they say
21 August 2003 | by nicholas.rhodesSee all my reviews

I have read all sorts of bad things about this film, not necessarily on IMDB, but in film guides etc. I have known the film for years, had it previously on VHS then lost it and just found it on DVD issued in England presumable in August. I do enjoy watching this film, the picture quality is excellent ( Eastmancolor ), lovely views of London and Scotland in the 1950's, plenty of humour, nice actors and a good plot which really keeps you guessing what it's all about for about 50 minutes. I have seen the original version by Hitchcock, its the same story but in black and white with awful picture and sound quality ( I have most of Hitchcock's films on DVD ) and there's no advantage to the Hitchcock film over this one - on the contrary this one is better. In addition to that we have some humorous touches absent from the original one. So I for one would thoroughly recommend this one - perhaps I am biased, for I consider the 50's as the "golden era". There was also a version made in 1978 which I will get down to viewing shortly.


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