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The Thirty Nine Steps (1978)

PG | | Crime, History, Mystery | 2 May 1980 (USA)
In March 1914, a mining engineer named Richard Hannay tries to prevent Prussian agents from executing a political assassination designed to trigger World War I.

Director:

Don Sharp

Writers:

Michael Robson (screenplay), John Buchan (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Powell ... Hannay
David Warner ... Appleton
Eric Porter ... Lomas
Karen Dotrice ... Alex
John Mills ... Scudder
George Baker ... Sir Walter Bullivant
Ronald Pickup ... Bayliss
Donald Pickering ... Marshall
Timothy West ... Porton
Miles Anderson ... David
Andrew Keir ... Lord Rohan
Robert Flemyng ... Magistrate
William Squire ... Harkness
Paul McDowell Paul McDowell ... McLean
David Collings ... Tillotson
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Storyline

The year is 1914 and Richard Hannay, Mining Engineer who is visiting Britain for a short time before returning to South Africa, is shocked when one of his neighbours, Colonel Scudder, bursts into his rooms one night and tells him a story that Prussian 'sleeper' agents are planning to pre-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 but not only is he is chased by Chief Supt Lomas for Scudder's death but by the agents who is headed by Appleton who has managed to hide himself in a high-placed position in the British Government... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A game of terror begins. The only clues... Are the victims. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 39 Steps See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,046,332, 31 December 1980

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,046,332, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's MacGuffin was a secret black notebook. See more »

Goofs

When working out the details of the Prussians' plans, Lomas points out that Appleton signed an order for work on Big Ben, whereas he should have said that it was signed by Bullivant. See more »

Quotes

Hannay: I thought he was a harmless lunatic!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Early in 1914 a coded cable was sent from a European power to a house in west London.

Decoded it read :

"LET THE SLEEPERS AWAKE" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Screen Britain: The 39 Steps (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the best films ever made by Rank Org.
3 September 1999 | by jan-97See all my reviews

Most of the people I spoke with about the 39 steps refer to the Hitchcock's 1935 version as the best one. Well most of these people haven't seen the 1978 version. If any of you will have a chance to see it, don't miss it as this version is story closer to John Buchan's book than Mr. Hitchcock's film.

Unfortunately, the 1978 version wasn't released on video in Europe (I believe it was released only in the US).

Robert Powell - stunning; David Warner - excellent; Prussian Agents - villains at their best.

b.t.w. very good music by Ed Welch.


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