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The Thirty Nine Steps

The Thirty Nine Steps is okay period suspense, directed with a smooth but unremarkable touch by Don Sharp.

The Thirty Nine Steps is okay period suspense, directed with a smooth but unremarkable touch by Don Sharp.

For the short of memory, Steps is the melodramatic tale of a man on the run from Prussian assassins plotting World War I. It was first a classic novel by John Buchan, then a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock [1935], with Robert Donat as the elusive hero and Madeleine Carroll as the romantic interest. This third version has attractive young Robert Powell and Karen Dotrice, but nothing like the Donat-Carroll chemistry or flourish.

John Mills is very good as the British agent trying to persuade the government of the momentous plot and its dire consequences. Also effective are David Warner as the topmost villain and Eric Porter as a police official.

The Thirty Nine Steps

UK

  • Production: Rank/Norfolk. Director Don Sharp; Producer Greg Smith; Screenplay Michael Robson; Camera John Coquillon; Editor Eric Boyd-Perkins; Music Ed Welch; Art Director Harry Pottle
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1978. Running time: 102 MIN.
  • With: Robert Powell David Warner Eric Porter Karen Dotrice John Mills George Baker
  • Music By: