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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

Taina Elg was cast as the female lead after a number of British and American performers had passed on the role and the Rank Studios and Kenneth More had vetoed a number of others. See more »

Goofs

When Hannay is on the train to Scotland he is described as having brown hair and grey eyes. However when giving his description 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 Call the Midwife: Episode #3.3 (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Feast Of Cameos
31 January 2007 | by robertconnorSee all my reviews

From the perspective of 2007, British cinema in the 1950s appears more notable for its supporting players rather than its leading lights, and Thomas's remake of The 39 Steps is no exception... look beyond Moore's 2D Hannay and we find a delicious roll call of character turns: De Banzie's aging nympho', Brook's enigmatic 'spook', Cruickshank's foolish sheriff and especially Joan Hickson's hilarious turn as Miss Dobson, all giggling gawkishness with sensible hair and shoes (look at Miss Marple, and then review Hickson's cinematic career - a real unsung hero if ever there was one). Even the schoolgirls on the train are familiar (Carol White became Loach's Poor Cow; Stranks was a 70s 'Magpie' presenter).

Not a patch on Hitchcock's original nor the faithful 1978 interpretation, but as a snapshot of British 50s cinematic talent it's a must!


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