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The 39 Steps (2008)

Richard Hannay, a mining engineer on holiday from the African colonies, finds London socialite life terribly dull. Yet it's more then he bargained for when secret agent, Scudder, bursts ... See full summary »

Director:

James Hawes

Writers:

John Buchan (novel), Lizzie Mickery (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Penry-Jones ... Richard Hannay
Lydia Leonard ... Victoria Sinclair
David Haig ... Sir George Sinclair
Patrick Malahide ... Professor Fisher
Patrick Kennedy ... Hellory Sinclair
Eddie Marsan ... Scudder
Alex Jennings ... Captain Kell
Steven Elder ... Vicar / Wakeham
Werner Daehn ... Ackerman
Peter Stark Peter Stark ... Engel
Del Synnott Del Synnott ... London Constable
Roger De Courcey Roger De Courcey ... Ventriloquist
David Gallacher David Gallacher ... Professor's Butler
James Bryce James Bryce ... Concierge at Club
Stewart Preston Stewart Preston ... Waiter at Club
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Storyline

Richard Hannay, a mining engineer on holiday from the African colonies, finds London socialite life terribly dull. Yet it's more then he bargained for when secret agent, Scudder, bursts into his room and entrusts him a coded notebook with map, concerning the impending start of World War I. In no time both German agents and the British law are chasing him, ruthlessly coveting the Roman numerals code, which Hannay believes he must crack himself. Masquerading as a liberal party pundit, Richard also gets stuck with parliamentary candidate Sir George Sinclair's sister Victoria. They must survive with the secrets and decide who they can trust and how to keep it from others. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

28 December 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

39 Lépcsőfok See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the main locations for this version was Stirling Castle itself. See more »

Goofs

Captain Kell refers to his colleague as "Leftenant Commander". The Royal Navy at that time pronounced "Lieutenant" as "L'tenant". See more »

Quotes

Victoria Sinclair: Why don't we steal that car and leave it in the next town.
Richard Hannay: Because it belongs to those two men up there. They're German spies who are chasing me with a view to ending my life.
Victoria Sinclair: You're not just a murderer but a delusional maniac - just my luck.
See more »

Connections

References North by Northwest (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The 39 Steps of 2008 Better than OK TV
10 April 2011 | by iami-4See all my reviews

When the Guthrie Theatre of Minneapolis announced its 2010 dates of live presentations and The 39 Steps was a part, I thought first of Hitchcock and wondered. His 1935 film was immensely entertaining when I first saw it on TV in the '50s or '60s -- Mr. Memory at the Music Hall, the Scotland chases, the room at the inn, and back to the Music Hall with Mr. Memory's explanation. I could hardly wait to see it again, and when I did it had lost something for me. Obviously, with mysteries, that is the case. Nevertheless, I'll always treasure the first experience. Years later I found Buchan's 1915 novel (one of a series using Hannay as the protagonist) at a yard sale and ate it up. As John Huston did with The Maltese Falcon novel, Hitchcock did with The 39 Steps -- followed a great story well told and just translated it to film. Or so I thought. I'd forgotten until finding this under "Questions" about the film: "... the actual 39 steps are different ... Hannay is never handcuffed to a woman...the romantic bit was made up for the movie...". But "both stories are highly episodic.... Buchan ... long discrete chapters ... whereas Hitchcock hurtles abrupt changes...". Well, why not since novels employ the art of high, middle, and low points but film language is the art of high points, mainly. Gotta be that way. Reluctant to watch this TV version, I did so anyway. You have to for comparison sake. I found the two leads, male and female, attractive and effective, and the camera work just as good. I'm still planning to find the book on one of my shelves. And when I do, I'll give it another go. And lay it out for my wife to consider. (Oh, oh. She says I did that the first time, and she has read it.) I remember the book as rather thin in appearance but thick with adventure. A red binding. The Guthrie stage version was a testament to creative stage adaptation. The fast pace was great fun with five (5!) actors doing quick changes for multiple roles but never harming the context. Now I found the book: copyright MCMXV, fewer than 230 5x8 pages.


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