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The 39 Steps [VHS]

David Warner , Eric Porter    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
Price: 11.97
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Product details

  • Actors: David Warner, Eric Porter, Karen Dotrice
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • VHS Release Date: 16 April 2001
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AWEG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,135 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

It's not the 1935 Hitchcock classic, but this sturdy 1978 adaptation of John Buchan's The Thirty Nine Steps is still a rollicking good adventure. In keeping with the Boys' Own derring-do of the story (set in Edwardian London and the Scottish Highlands), the movie maintains a brisk pace that's interrupted only for tea or cocktails. Robert Powell is Richard Hannay, the man who unwittingly becomes embroiled in a dastardly Prussian plot to assassinate the Greek Prime Minister. Framed for murder, Hannay must flee to Scotland and attempt to clear his name whilst outwitting the prune-faced Prussian agents. Among all the deftly choreographed action sequences and careful period settings there's a strong vein of humour in the film, and if it wasn't for the numerous murders there would be little reason for PG certification. The grand dénouement comes with the realisation that the predicted time for the assassination is linked to Big Ben; unlike the earlier movie this version climaxes memorably with Powell hanging from the clock's minute hand. It might not be Hitchcock behind the lens, but it's still jolly good fun. --Joan Byrne

Product Description

Third big-screen adaptation of John Buchan's classic novel. Mining engineer Richard Hannay (Robert Powell) is on a brief visit to England when his neighbour Colonel Scudder (John Mills) warns him that foreign 'sleeper' agents are at work, planning to pre-empt global war by murdering a foreign dignitary. When Scudder is murdered by the agents Hannay finds himself under suspicion by the police, and goes on the run in a bid to both prove his own innocence and expose the enemy spies.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful evenings viewing 15 Dec 2002
Format:VHS Tape
A splendid evenings viewing, this one ! The lead character is thrust into a tale of espionage and murder in pre-first world war London. The plot thickens wonderfully as we watch, with a romantic involvement later as our hero flees to Scotland to retrieve the only evidence of his innocence and a sub-plot which involves the bad guys plan to murder a high ranking foreign diplomat at the House of Commons. The tour-de-force of an ending sees our man saving the day with tremendous courage, putting his life on the line as he does so many times during the film. The sets, the scenery, the costumes, the story, the twists, the whole thing is a piece of escapism sadly lacking in films of today. I must recommend this film whole-heartedly to anyone with a penchant for good old fashioned thrillers.
Happy watching !
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hannay is back! 18 Sep 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I always thought the 1935 version could not be beaten but.....i was wrong. For sheer all round excitement, good performances, excellent script and superb set pieces you need look no further. Powell makes a great Richard Hannay (how about releasing Powell's 80s 'Hannay' tv series too). He is suitbly dashing and heroic, Mills is wonderful as Scudder and Warner a vile villain. Karen Dotrice is a bit of a let down as the girl but that's a minor quibble. I still think the 1935 version is wonderful but this is even more fun. Buy it now!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Adventure! 10 May 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent film in every sense.Set in London and the Scottish highlands before the first world war it never lets up from the start.Our hero, played excellently by Robert Powell, is wrongfully accused of murder.In order to clear his name he must travel to Scotland to retrieve the evidence which will do just that.Unfortunately this evidence is also wanted by Prussian spies and they give hot pursuit.He must use all his wits to escape both these and the police.This gives rise to a thrilling chase which at times is also extremely funny.

Fine performances by all actors particularly the late John Mills adds to the drama.Combine this with the period costumes and vehicles and you have an all round classic.Brilliant!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - the finest version (including Buchans !) 24 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Don't listen to other comparisons to the Hitchcock film. This version is infinitely superior and cleverly paced. Whilst Hitchcock virtually tore up Buchan's work, this version stays closer to the original storyline. Fantastic acting all round and an all time classic ending. I actually found it more exciting than the book. Buchan's novel is a classic but sometimes a bit far fetched. Isn't it interesting how the 3 versions mentioned all have different 39 steps ?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, memories 20 Dec 2005
By A Customer
Format:DVD
As a child this was one of my favourite films, it's perfect for that rainy Sunday afternoon. Although it is, in my mind, a great romp of a film, to say that it remains accurate to the book is a little generous. The ending, for example? I won't give anything away to those who haven't yet (I say that because you really should watch it) seen it, but to say that it adds a little of the fantastical is to do it an injustice. Still, to all but the most ardent of Buchan purists this will be/is an excellent film. Adventure, danger, intrigue, romance...they're all there.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a cracking film 14 Nov 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is excellent fun. Set shortly before the outbreak of the first world war, the hero, Richard Hannay performs an hour and a half of dare devil deeds in order to outwit "Prussians" who want to set the war in motion as soon as possible through an assasination. Classic family entertainment, unmissable.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful non-stop action adventure 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The Thirty Nine Steps was adapted for the big screen to great acclaim in 1935 and this version of John Buchan's classic, is even better. Mind you, it's still not a patch on the novel. Made in 1978, the film has aged rather well and the performances of Robert Powell and John Mills are absolutely superb. The film gets straight into the action right from the very beginning, with Colonel Scudder (John Mills) confiding in two Cabinet ministers his theories about a plot to assassinate the Greek Prime Minister. Each minister is soon murdered and Scudder takes flight, fearing for his own life. He finds brief refuge in Richard Hannay's (Powell) apartment and so begins a remarkable cat and mouse chase across Scotland and London. This is a thoroughly satisfying film and well worth seeing. If anything, the ending is even more thrilling than the one in the novel (which is very different). For good acting, exciting chases and beautiful scenery, it's hard to better this film. Perhaps only The Fugitive can rival it for continuous thrills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is the closest to the book 16 July 2013
By Liz
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
But - still quite different. I long for a movie to be made that is true to the book but this is the best we've currently got. Needless to say the book will be in my possession long after the disc eventually ceases playing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film
Published 4 days ago by Mr. K. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 steps a great movie and book
I'm a fan of John Buchan books, and especially the 39 Steps, and love Robert Powell in this movie, love it
Published 1 month ago by grandmaC
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Would recommend this film and the suppliers to anyone in doubt. My most favoured production of this film. Absolutely Fabulous.
Published 1 month ago by big daddy
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good film
Great delivery time for an excellent Alfred Hitchcock film. The action is fast paced, the acting is good and the storyline like all Hitchcock films is marvellous.
Published 1 month ago by colinc
5.0 out of 5 stars mmmm
I love this film cause I love Robert powel who wouldn't I prefer this version cant wait to watch it again
Published 2 months ago by sarah morris
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
you cant beat the old classics. classy script played out by some of our greatest actors. Whats not to like
Published 2 months ago by rob moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Having seen 2 other older versions feel that this is the best.
Saw this film when it first came out - really liked it at the time and glad I could get it on DVD.
Feel that it captures the speed and excitement of the book but maybe not the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by S Medway
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best version.
I have seen the other versions of this film and they are very good but this one is more true to the original book. At first I thought I was watching a different film ! Great cast. Read more
Published 6 months ago by P J Horan
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic and better than the original by miles
i remember being home off sick from school and watching this on bbc2 when i was a nipper. i loved it , Robert powell is a brilliant actor, he pulls off the character perfectly. Read more
Published 7 months ago by michael lister
4.0 out of 5 stars The definitive version
I love John Buchan This screen version is set in the right time on the eve of the first World War and Robert Powell is a fine actor who captures the essence of John Buchan's late... Read more
Published 8 months ago by simon fielding
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