The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps

Alfred Hitchcock (1935)

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Our Score
Alfred Hitchcock brings John Buchan's novel to the screen with characteristic wit and verve, a style he forged in 1930s Britain with this, The Man Who Knew Too Much and The Lady Vanishes. The 39 Steps has all the ingredients of classic Hitch, not least the innocent-man-on-the-run plot, a staple all the way through to 1959's North by Northwest. In this case, it's visiting Canadian Richard Hannay (a winning Robert Donat), who gets dragged into an espionage conspiracy after an outing to a London music hall and ends up in Scotland handcuffed to an icy blonde (Madeleine Carroll). Playing "spot the recurring Hitchcock motif" is almost as thrilling as the chase itself and the chemistry between Donat and Carroll is a rare treat - particularly when they are forced to share a room (quite shocking in 1935).


A Canadian in London offers a safe hiding place to a British secret agent investigating a spy ring. However, when she is murdered, he realises he will be the prime suspect and goes on the run with the intention of exposing the real killers. Alfred Hitchcock's thriller based on John Buchan's novel, starring Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle and Peggy Ashcroft.

Cast & Crew

Richard Hannay Robert Donat
Pamela Madeleine Carroll
Miss Smith Lucie Mannheim
Professor Jordan Godfrey Tearle
Crofter's wife Peggy Ashcroft
Crofter John Laurie
Mrs Jordan Helen Haye
Sheriff Watson Frank Cellier
Memory Wylie Watson
Commercial traveller Gus McNaughton
Commercial traveller Jerry Verno
Director Alfred Hitchcock
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Park CircusAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 11 Apr 2008