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The 39 Steps [1978] [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Powell, David Warner, Eric Porter, Karen Dotrice, John Mills
  • Directors: Don Sharp
  • Producers: James Kenelm Clarke
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: ITV Studios
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jan. 2001
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WZY8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,277 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: DVD
Robert Powell plays Richard Hannay, a mining engineer based in South Africa, but visiting London. When one of his neighbours, Colonel Scudder, played by John Mills, comes to his flat, and asks him to hide him, he is told by Scudder that there is a plot to murder a visiting foreign minister, that will start WW1. When Scudder is murdered, the police suspect Hannay, who flees to Scotland, pursued by the murderers of Scudder.

This is the second remake of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock version, and is set in a different time period to the others. It is an enjoyable remake, with Robert Powell playing a good part. If you are a fan of the other two, and haven't seen this one then this is worth watching, or if you like period films, then you should enjoy this.

Picture Quality is good overall. The fog sequence at the start is a bit murky, but this is the way it was filmed, and looked the same in the cinema on it's original release, so no problem. Colours are natural, and there are no problems with the sound. This dvd transfer is in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

Recommended.
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Of all the versions of this film this is just about my favourite (although I do like the most recent one a lot too). We bought the dvd as we've been getting our son to watch some classics and not just junk ha ha. And to show him that someone else did the Big Ben scene before Disney did it in Cars 2. He really liked the film. It's nice to pass your film education on to your kids. We also got Whistle down the Wind, which he really enjoyed (who wouldn't?!) and the Three Amigos (that last one was my male other half's idea and I don't think it was that suitable for 8 year old boys, but he liked bits of it).
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By A Customer on 20 Dec. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Upon entering Senior School, Each Friday afternoon, for weeks on end, our Form teacher read this book to us...and I've loved it
ever since .A varied, and pacey story it maintains viewer interest completely. A good Old-fashioned type of Spy Thriller.
A vital addition to your DVD collection. As usual, on time, from Amazon, in good condition;
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