43 user 13 critic

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.


Ralph Thomas


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth More ... Richard Hannay
Taina Elg ... Fisher
Brenda de Banzie ... Nellie Lumsden (as Brenda De Banzie)
Barry Jones ... Professor Logan
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


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


The Most Suspenseful Manhunt in History!


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Did You Know?


Unlike the version made by Alfred Hitchcock, the 1959 "39 Steps" film was filmed extensively around Scotland. See more »


While filming was underway in Scotland, astonished tourists watched a convoy of lorries drive into a field of tall wheat unaware that the film company had bought the crop to film Kenneth More hiding from the enemies and that the farmer would get all that was left when the sequence was completed. See more »


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.
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Version of The 39 Steps (2008) See more »

User Reviews

Slightly lethargic, but still a good version.
3 March 2005 | by BregeladSee all my reviews

So far, there have been three film versions of this film, though there has been another announced for this year (2005). I can't really do any of the others down, and in fact the Hitchcock version starring Robert Donat is a classic. This is probably the least good of the three, due to the poor cinematography and lack of continuity in the lighting. That having been said, Kenneth More is really on form in this, and actually uses the dull background to great effect by allowing himself to become the focus of the film at all times. This is, of course, an ideal way to view the film as it fits the story perfectly. Not a film I can watch more than once a year, but definitely worth a viewing every twelve months.

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English | French

Release Date:

13 March 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The 39 Steps See more »

Filming Locations:

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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