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Film / The 39 Steps (1959)

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The 39 Steps is a 1959 British thriller film directed by Ralph Thomas, starring Kenneth More and Tania Elg. It is based on the novel of the same name, although it is more a remake of the 1935 film version than a direct adaptation of the novel.

As with the previous film, the setting is updated to the (then-) present day, the villains this time out being a Cold War-era spy ring intent on stealing British secrets.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Cool Train: The LNER again plays a role in the remake, this time providing a streamlined A4 Pacific.
  • Not His Sled: Unlike in the novel, the mysterious phrase "the 39 steps" is the name of the spy ring.
  • Token Romance: This version adds a romance with a young woman Hannay meets while he's on the run.

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