Richard Hannay, a mining engineer on holiday from the African colonies, finds London socialite life terribly dull. Yet it's more than he bargained for when secret agent, Scudder, bursts ... See full summary »
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.
Greg Callan's cousin, David Callan top agent/assassin for the S.I.S., was forced to retire because he had lost his nerve. Now, Callan is called back into service to handle the assassination... See full summary »
Richard Hannay is a man of his times: an Edwardian gentleman and adventurer, a mining engineer from South Africa of Scottish origin, who lives by his own standards and wits, upholding a ... See full summary »
Greg Callan's cousin David Callan is the top agent/assassin for the Security Service (British counterintelligence), but he is an embittered man who performs his duties "for Queen and ... See full summary »
Brian Ash is a young lieutenant who is assigned to a UXB unit in the early days of World War II. UXB (UneXploded Bomb) is the signal that an aerial bomb has not exploded. Ash's job is to ... See full summary »
The year is 1914, and Richard Hannay (Robert Powell), a mining engineer who is visiting Britain for a short time before returning to South Africa, is shocked when one of his neighbors, Colonel Scudder (Sir John Mills), bursts into his room one night and tells him a story that Prussian sleeper Agents are planning to start World War I by murdering a visiting foreign Minister. However, Scudder is murdered, and Hannay is framed for the death by the sleepers. Fleeing to Scotland, Hannay attempts to clear his name and to stop the agents, with the aid of Alex Mackenzie (Karen Dotrice), but not only is he is chased by Chief Superintendent Lomas (Eric Porter) for Scudder's death, but by the agents, who are headed by Appleton (David Warner), who has managed to hide himself in a high-placed position in the British Government.
Lord Tweedsmuir, son of "The 39 Steps" source author John Buchan, according to Producer Greg Smith, liked the movie, was glad that the adaptation utilized more content from his father's source novel, and felt that his dad would have liked the added-on ending with the Big Ben clocktower. See more »
At the health resort where Hannay is drugged by the Prussian agents, a concert is taking place. As the guests assemble, we see a poster advertising the concert, which gives the date as Wednesday, 13 March 1914. 13 March that year was a Friday. See more »
Liberal Conference Audience Member:
Why don't you stop asking questions and tell us something?
Yes, I will tell you something. You're not awake! You wouldn't know if... if those two men who just walked in weren't German Sleeper Agents.
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R Houghton's review claims that "...with this version, we finally get the story as it was written."
This is a very long way from true. To note only three departures, the thirty-nine steps of the original text do not refer to the steps leading up to Beg Ben, but to a staircase leading from a house in Bradgate down to the sea; in the original text, Scudder is knifed in Hannay's flat; and the scene of Hannay clinging to the hands of the clock appears nowhere in Buchan's novel.
But all that said, this production is a fine piece of work in its own right, having great pace, style and atmosphere, and with some first-class acting from Robert Powell.
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