The 39 Steps

1959

Comedy / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

6
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 68%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.5/10 10 2335 2.3K

Director

Top cast

Jill Haworth as Schoolgirl on Train
John Richardson as (uncredited)
Taina Elg as Fisher
Barbara Steele as Extra
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
796.04 MB
962*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
Seeds 4
1.44 GB
1442*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
Seeds 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by robertconnor 7 / 10

A Feast Of Cameos

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!

Reviewed by ADAM-53 10 / 10

Better than it's often given credit for

Often criticised for being a shot-for-shot remake of the Hitchcock original, this film is in fact a perky little thriller which benefits from Kenneth More being a more sympathetic leading man than Robert Donat (he was somewhat aloof) in the '39 version. True, the film trades heavily off the script for the Hitchcock version, and true it does not go back to the original novel for context, spirit or historical setting in the way the '78 version does; but for me, the film is the jewel among the three. As well as a pacy and fun thriller, it catches the spirit of the England and Scotland of the time. It is also interesting to note the role of the two hit-men characters; they are shadowy background figures in the '39 version, but here they are more fully flushed out (and well played by Duncan Lamont and Michael Goodlife). In the '78 version (and the unofficial remake called North By Northwest) the role of the hit-men is further developed and the suspense increased as a result.

Other things to watch out for in the '59 version are Sidney James, Brian Oulton and a host of supporting players (not to mention Tania Elg's legs in the remake of the stocking-removing scene, all the more intriguing for being in colour). Long available on VHS in the UK, this film now sadly seems to be deleted and is much missed.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 7 / 10

Here's to you Mrs. Robinson.

The 39 Steps is directed by Ralph Thomas and adapted to screenplay by Frank Harvey from the novel of the same name written by John Buchan. It stars Kenneth More, Taina Elg, Brenda De Banzie, Barry Jones, Reginald Beckwith and Faith Brook. Music is by Clifton Parker and cinematography by Ernest Steward.

Some found it hard to differentiate this interpretation of the classic novel from the superb Alfred Hitchcock version made in 1935. Which is a shame because on its own terms this is a fun packed mystery boosted by More's effervescent charm.

Story is a cracker, Richard Hannay (More) finds himself up to his neck in espionage after a mysterious lady is stabbed to death in is flat. Trying to get to the bottom of the mystery puts him in grave danger and takes him North to Scotland, where he hopes he can clear himself of the suspected murderer rap - and unravel the words he heard - The 39 Steps.

No! It isn't as good as Hitch's film, choosing to replace out and out suspense with a more humoristic approach, but the chase yarn aspects are briskly directed by Thomas, and the Scottish locations provided a wonderful backdrop to the fun drama. This same year Hammer Films put a different spin on The Hound of the Baskervilles, with fine results. So it be with the Rank Organisation and this take on the Buchan story. Good fun and well worth a look if you haven't seen it before. 7/10

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