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The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps

1935
Romance
Drama
1h 26m
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent, and is soon finding himself in one jam after another. (imdb)
Your probable score
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The 39 Steps

1935
Romance
Drama
1h 26m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 63.73% from 2373 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2373)
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Rated 22 Jan 2016
81
90th
I saw one of these memory guys in Las Vegas, and I asked him what the 39 steps were but what he started reciting was actually a recipe for stroganoff. I realize how silly this is, but, man, you gotta try this stroganoff!
Rated 20 Mar 2010
3
38th
Though it lacks some of the flair and dramatic punch of later Hitchcock efforts, this has many of the hallmarks of his best films - an innocent man on the run, foreign intrigue, layered with light romantic comedy. It's essentially the prototype for North by Northwest. Hitch's skills as a director haven't quite matured to greatness at this point, but it's a very worthy film in his ouevre.
Rated 12 May 2019
75
75th
"Classic thriller, suspenseful film called "The 39 Stairs," ...made by some guy named 'Alfred'" - Alistair Cookie, Monsterpiece Theater
Rated 15 Apr 2011
60
28th
For the most part, these early Hitchcocks aren't really doing it for me. Things like this and The Lady Vanishes are kind of fun and dumb, but I don't think they're particularly thrilling, suspenseful, or humorous. I guess it passed the time OK, but I can't give it much more praise than that.
Rated 08 Oct 2016
6
34th
More like the 39 missteps. Almost ruined by an underwhelming plot, a total lack of suspense and a death scene so hammy, it will make you want to kill yourself. But the last segment, in which Donat and Carroll are handcuffed together, was so goddamn fun and sexy, it barely makes up for the awfulness that preceded it. Barely!
Rated 24 Nov 2010
82
76th
Great, tightly constructed thriller. Robert Donat plays a great "wrong man" and Madeleine Carroll's character was a good foil as well. This movie has a very nice combination of tension, action and humor. Some of the plot points were ridiculously convenient, but really who cares?
Rated 14 Mar 2008
5
93rd
Probably the greatest film Hitchcock created during his time in Britain. A host of memorable set pieces and an absolutely delightful rapport between the two leads. This movie is just a whole lot of fun.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
84th
Some of the plotting is ridiculous, but it's still a wicked good time... lots of tight situations and great gags. Robert Donat make a terrific leading man, and Madeline Carroll plays off him beautifully.
Rated 02 Feb 2007
80
61st
Ah, the first "wrong man" film. There's something that's just so damn exciting about watching an innocent dude running away from both the police and the bad guys. Still, easily the best part of The 39 Steps is the section where Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll are handcuffed together. It's hilarious. It could've been a movie all by itself, actually.
Rated 31 Jul 2015
30
18th
Noticing that Alfred Hitchcock directed this, I fully expecting to enjoy this. However despite my efforts to do so, the plot, dialog and acting was entirely unconvincing. Few moments felt genuine. The initial death scene was one of the worst of this movies moments. I liked how they kept putting him into predicaments, but despite some clever plot ideas, the result is often pretentious. Old time sensibilities aside it frequently felt like an amateur production.
Rated 17 Apr 2014
60
29th
It's got the old-fashioned wit, the trademark Hitch visual wit and one of his most compelling leading men of all time, Mr. Donat. But the silly espionage plot didn't exactly thrill me -it was moderately engaging alright, but not fleshed-out enough to enter top-tier Hitchcock.
Rated 14 Jul 2014
85
59th
One of the first great Hitchcock pictures, establishing a formula that he would draw from many times in the future - a story of the Wrong Man, replete with espionage, pursuit, risque romance and bawdy humor, all adding up into a lovable seriocomic thriller. Madeleine Carroll is excellent as the first Hitchcock blonde, and Robert Donat is superb in the lead role.
Rated 13 Jul 2008
92
95th
Robert Donat is fantastic here, and Hitchcock's liberties with the original story work really well. The whole thing's highly amusing.
Rated 15 Jan 2014
70
30th
nothing lulls me to sleep quite like early hitchcock
Rated 24 May 2021
70
52nd
"39 Steps, eh? 37, 38...hey! What's the big idea?" Is this the first film where two people who dislike one another are chained up while running from the law? In 1935, you could introduce a character named "Mr. Memory", and it feels like someone people would pay money to see. The Depression hit entertainment hard, folks.
Rated 31 Mar 2007
60
47th
I want to like anything that Hitchcock did but this is kind of silly
Rated 19 May 2021
60
42nd
Definitely not one of my favorite Hitchcock films. Full of plot convenience and dei ex machina (yes, that's the plural of deus ex machina), and lacking most of what makes so many of Hitch's other films great. It's by no means bad and it even has a couple of good sequences, but it is wholly unremarkable.
Rated 22 Dec 2010
70
67th
Decent enough of a movie, but not as great as a lot of Hitchcock's other films. Even though his thirties films were just the begining for the master of suspense, you can see where he was really getting everything together quite well. The acting was pretty good and the whole political assembley with the police surrounding Donat was very well done and enjoyable.
Rated 12 Jan 2012
81
84th
Great pacing and a nice mix of suspense and comedy. Sure, it has some weird plot holes, but I was constantly entertained.
Rated 25 Apr 2010
9
93rd
Another great Hitchcock film. It is genuinely suspenseful with great cinematography and some good acting - especially by Robert Donat who totally owned the lead role. Very engaging and the time flies by while watching. Very good.
Rated 10 May 2010
85
57th
One of Hitch's fleetest, most entertaining films. Donat -- gently self-deprecating, genuinely unperturbed by even the most dire consequences -- makes for my favorite Hitch hero. Carroll's role brief, but a worthy match for Donat, and it's interesting to see the Hitchcock Blonde in its prototype phase. Stylistically maintains a darkly beautiful moodiness, influenced both by art deco and the Scottish countryside where much of it takes place. Ashcroft fantastic in a very brief early role.
Rated 16 Jan 2008
85
93rd
A lot funnier than most comedies made today.
Rated 07 Oct 2017
72
68th
You're gonna need to concentrate because I lost focus a bit, in the beginning, missed some plot points and they did not do a recap later. After the rather tense and serious beginning of a proper spy thriller, it takes a sharp turn into road movie slash comedy. Pretty good actually.
Rated 04 Jul 2009
75
86th
Good Movie
Rated 26 Apr 2020
90
87th
Hitchcock's first real international success is such a well constructed, compelling little thriller that it sets the mold for 60% of his subsequent films. It's very gimmicky, quite implausible, and so quickly and smoothly paced that it never really matters if it makes much sense.
Rated 07 May 2014
70
75th
Ordinary people get swept into dangerous adventures in espionage and it's still fresh. Hitchcock would then regurgitate this premise ad nauseam, and everyone else would scavenge ideas from this, but here you get to see stuff like a fugitive blending into a parade, or mutually handcuffed escapees, before they're cliches. Surprisingly, it hasn't aged too badly and the humor really helps.
Rated 16 May 2007
87
86th
Ever wonder where most of the action/suspense films got their cliches? This is it, and it's probably better than most of its progeny. The performances are all compelling, and it's just a fun movie that holds up even seventy+ years later.
Rated 28 Mar 2017
69
55th
Like a prototype for what Hitchcock would later do. Perhaps great in its day but not aged too well esp when comparing it to Hitchcocks later work this looks like a rough draft. Plenty of interesting camera choices and visual flair, but the story is crammed into key moments then abruptly and neatly wrapped up for an ending without much mystery, tension or excitement.
Rated 06 Dec 2010
81
74th
A fun ride, covering a lot of Hitchcock's favourite territory. Fun film to watch even if was later eclipsed by North by Northwest.
Rated 31 May 2010
93
91st
Very good movie. This is the first one I can see clear Hitchcock's style. Good plot, good humor, awesome Robert Donat.
Rated 03 Jun 2013
90
99th
Not sure what to say that hasn't been said a million times before about Hitchcock's classic. He was miles ahead of his British colleagues. He creates suspense out of every scene. Be it crime related or sexual tension for relief. The way he films takes you there in person. It's that intimate. And The 39 Steps brings you close. Close into the mind of Robert Donat and close to the restless suspense that never lets go. The 39 Steps plain and simple leaves a powerful mark. A phenomenal thriller.
Rated 18 Jun 2009
83
80th
Not Hitchcock's best but still better than most other chase/suspense/buddy films. Remade with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier as the Defiant Ones (ok, that's totally not true, btw)
Rated 10 Jun 2017
6
43rd
It's bookended by a slow beginning (Miss Smith is annoyingly cryptic) and an abrupt, too-easy ending (Hannay figures things out super quickly) but in between them is fun fugitive plot that constantly dishes out unexpected twists: Just when you think he's getting away he gets caught; just when you think he's done for he finds a new way out. Dashes of comedy (see the hilarious impromptu political speech scene; Hannay and Pamela's handcuff experience) mix well with the film's solid suspense.
Rated 29 Sep 2014
8
87th
A classic Hitchcock movie that I appreciate more than his other movies, for some reason. The key to this movie's uniqueness is that the action never stops, and you have no clue where it's leading you. Enjoy the ride.
Rated 15 Jan 2012
70
67th
Another brilliant Hitchcock film. One can hardly be surprised, but he still impresses me. This one's a sort of spy thriller. It was suspenseful and exciting and had several great plot twists. Some of the acting was a little sub-par, but Hitchcock's direction was great and it was always entertaining.
Rated 30 Nov 2018
75
69th
Surprising how soon Hitchcock masters his trademark thriller narrative style, even if the filmmaking isn't at his peak yet. Still, Hitchcock throwing random people into spy conspiracies is the greatest thing since sliced bread....or maybe before sliced bread, since our guy here is seen cutting up a loaf.
Rated 30 Dec 2012
60
54th
The film feels a bit unfinished and its pacing is confusing. There are some familiar "Hitchcock themes" in the movie, though, they are better portrayed in his latter work. It's still interesting to see where the director started from.
Rated 16 Feb 2010
83
47th
Many great set-ups and a blisteringly fast pace make this an entertaining film throughout.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
92
79th
So great. So Hitchcock. Maybe the hottest leading lady I've ever seen in a Hitchcock. Genuinely suspensful. The master at his early best.
Rated 07 Nov 2012
89
66th
88.500
Rated 11 Jun 2011
70
56th
I might have been too distracted when I watched it but I have to say I wouldn't list it as one of the top ten Hitchcock movies. I thought it was a little too slow and I wasn't as curious as usual to find out who did what in this one.
Rated 31 Mar 2020
93
88th
Possibly the most famous of Hitch's early efforts, this is perhaps inevitably a little creaky, with the urgency of the early scenes dissipating slightly once Carroll gets involved, but still fun as it sets the template for Hitch's innocent-on-the-run plot, with Donat prefiguring Cary Grant as the suave, largely unflappable hero. Nice bits along the way for Ashcroft and Laurie.
Rated 19 Jan 2013
67
54th
Suspense and plot-holes.
Rated 28 Mar 2020
78
72nd
77.5
Rated 18 Apr 2013
79
53rd
Hitchcock is a genius.
Rated 27 Feb 2011
81
77th
Fun, with some memorable scenes (Donat and Carroll in handcuffs, especially). A bit too episodic, but Hitchcock makes it work. An early stepping stone to his masterpieces.
Rated 10 Jan 2011
90
78th
I love this film. Brilliantly economical, perfectly paced, and totally entertaining, if not quite as masterful as some of Hitch's more mature work. Still, it might be my favorite to watch; it has a memorable moodiness that makes it totally unique. Donat is my favorite Hitchcock hero, with a combination of humor, grace, and self-effacing wit that outdoes both Grant and Stewart for me. Peggy Ashcroft is absolutely superb in a small early role that's a pleasantly profound surprise in this context.
Rated 29 Sep 2009
89
70th
Great Hitchcock film from the later British years of the maestro. This film has all the Hitch -story elements (murder and epsionage; innocent man chased both by police and spies) found from the Hollywood years in a good use. One can only admire how easy-going the film is as it moves forward seemingly effortlessly. Good entertainment.
Rated 11 Jul 2010
75
83rd
Fantastic early Hitchcock. It's a very suspenseful 80 minutes carried along by a quick-moving plot and a great performance by Robert Donat. Many of the later characteristics of Hitchcock films are put into play for the first time here. Just great.
Rated 17 Feb 2013
65
4th
I'm sorry - even if it is Hitchcock and it is a classic...I was bored the entire time, and I'm pretty sure that's the first faux pas of movies, right?
Rated 01 Mar 2008
85
76th
# 306
Rated 13 Oct 2011
10
97th
All the elements of a classic Hitchcock movie are in place in the wonderful slice of cinema. One of Hitch's best British movies.
Rated 08 Mar 2012
85
45th
A lot of fun to watch. One of my favorite early Hitchcock films.
Rated 16 Jul 2009
76
35th
The sound mix on the version I saw was terrible, and you have to get used to the circa-1930s pacing, but it is still suspenseful and fun.
Rated 03 Jan 2013
52
48th
Nowhere near the quality of Hitchcock's later works. Still, it has its share of suspense and humor and it's easy to see this as something of a "prototype" of the superior thrillers that he would make in later years. Lightweight fun, but only a "must-watch" for Hitchcock fans.
Rated 14 Dec 2015
85
86th
It has some superbly concise pacing that rockets you around from set piece to action sequence to tense exchange of dialogue and to another set piece again. There's a surprising amount of comedy too, with the political speech being the funniest monologue I've seen all year. I've only seen one other Hitchcock film, but if this, the first great "man-on-the-run" film is anything to go by, I can't wait to watch more of his stuff.
Rated 16 Jun 2008
88
74th
Great tense moments. Some good bits of comedy as well. However, this seems minor in comparison to later works like Psycho or North By Northwest.
Rated 08 Apr 2014
77
47th
No this is not a really long recipe, it's an Alfred Hitchcock movie. This isn't one of his best films, but it does have some enjoyable parts to it. I love the whole two people being handcuffed together thing. It even makes it more funny that the couple really doesn't get along...
Rated 12 Mar 2013
85
80th
Preposterous, but the plot is just an excuse for some thrilling chase sequences, some great comedy and on top of that it's all presented in a solidly artful way.
Rated 20 Oct 2013
74
38th
It surely is a wonderful film, accompanied with many of Hitchcock's magic tricks but it somehow didn't succeed in making me love it as other Hitchcock films. Robert Donat - the innocent man on the run - is breathtaking and one of the characters that will stuck in your head even after watching the film. Loving the dialogues with Madeleine Carroll! Still, if you are a Hitchcock fan is a film not to be missed.
Rated 24 Aug 2021
40
13th
-izlediklerim arasında- en çiğ Hitchcock filmi. şaşırtıcı derecede hem de..
Rated 18 Dec 2009
75
77th
The 39 Steps, the story of an innocent man chased by both the police and the bad guys, is one of the first wrong man movies, a theme that returns in several of Hitchcock's films, including North By Northwest. It doesn't breathe Hitchcock like his later films do, but I found 39 Steps surprisingly engaging, mixing suspense, comedy and fast pace with witty dialogues very successfully. So far I haven't been very impressed with this era in cinema, but 39 Steps left me wanting for more.
Rated 28 Dec 2022
88
45th
Way ahead of it's time.
Rated 16 Jul 2007
84
70th
The 39 Steps is visually stunning, but it's not as fine-tuned as a lot of Hitchcock's work. It's early in his career so you can see where he improved a lot of his catalog, but at the same time, it's not even the best of his older movies.
Rated 25 Jan 2010
92
89th
A classic early thriller.
Rated 17 Aug 2009
70
50th
I was instantly bored by this movie. Imagine my surprise when at around the 15 or 20 minute mark, out of nowhere, it suddenly becomes suspenseful and engaging. This left me even more unprepared for when, at the 1 hour mark, it suddenly becomes very funny. The movie's uneven, rough around the edges, and sometimes mind numbingly dull, but nevertheless very good.
Rated 13 Oct 2007
74
49th
Pretty decent for a movie era I'm not fond of.
Rated 21 May 2010
78
49th
A rather cut-crystal accent version of the book but well worth watching. It won't keep you in suspense throughout and some of the exposition is dated but it's a decent adaptation with good acting and some humour too
Rated 17 Feb 2018
70
53rd
Annabella Smith: "Have you ever heard of the 39 Steps?"
Rated 03 Dec 2006
76
60th
By the way, probably this is the first "kissing-camouflage" film.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
85
70th
309
Rated 25 Feb 2009
94
89th
terrific 30's hitchcock. donat & carroll are wonderful. in many respects the father to saboteur and grandfather to north by northwest.........
Rated 29 Nov 2008
85
69th
Fast paced, witty dialogues - oodles of fun.
Rated 27 Jan 2016
93
93rd
A straight-up, rip-roaring adventure, with a cool as fuck lead character and some slightly knowingly funny interpretations of Buchan's work - those Scotch accents! Funny and exciting, with each minute providing a new twist. Real fun to be had here.
Rated 14 Jun 2009
80
61st
Snappy dialogue in British accents! NICE
Rated 17 Dec 2009
82
69th
Another great film from Hitch's time in England. It uses the same device that's present in many of his films- the "wrong man" scenario. It's used to great effect in this movie, in no small part due to the performances by leads Donat and Carroll.
Rated 04 Feb 2015
4
55th
handcuffs and stockings. in the final shot he takes her hand, empty cuff dangling between them like a promise of sex to come. shame it took 45 mins to get cooking, but everything from the diplomat speech onwards is probably the earliest example of vintage hitch - he really began to step out of the germans' shadow here.
Rated 29 Dec 2008
90
92nd
Great old spy story with good movement. Perhaps the best "wrong man" story.
Rated 30 Dec 2021
4
0th
Simple plot, but engaging characters. Great shots, as is typical of Hitchcock. Lots of engaging scenery. Loved the scene in the inn where he meets back up with the girl from the train.
Rated 23 Feb 2016
9
42nd
Star Rating: ★★★
Rated 01 Mar 2019
90
77th
89.50
Rated 26 May 2019
90
77th
Interesting to see how Hitch developed over such a long career. The filmaking techniques on display here feel unrefined in comparison to his later work but the script is just as tight and tense as anything else I'm familiar with.
Rated 07 Jun 2008
88
83rd
I about died laughing at "Mr. McCrocodile."
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
94th
Fantastic movie. The best Hitchcock I've seen so far (out of the paltry three or four that I've seen).
Rated 04 Feb 2022
80
85th
Gotta love how crazily intense this feels in a scene to scene basis -- something funny or dangerous is always on the corner -- and the way Hitch turns a common Canadian tourist in London into a innocent man wrongly accused of murder trying to clean his name by simply breaking a a plot trying to leak UK military secrets through a band of spies -- the 39 steps. Operistic finale mirroring the beginning is just pure bliss.
Rated 30 Dec 2012
50
56th
There are some things that give this away as a Hitchcock film, like the female being a creature to be trapped and tamed, but they are few and far between. The supposedly funny scenes were especially awkard. In no way was it a bad film, just bland and uninteresting throughout.
Rated 17 Jul 2022
52
64th
"The 39 Steps" is a well-made film with a weak script that's watchable because of Hitchcock's pacing.
Rated 22 Jul 2012
73
58th
eglence mekaninda patlayan silahlar, kargasa, casus, ajan, yurt disina cikan önemli bilgi, herseyi ezberleyen adam, öldürülen kadin, cinayetin üstüne kaldigi masum adam, kacma-kovalama, polisin pesinde oldugu adam, tren, iskocya, serce parmagi kesik profesör, taninmamak icin öpüsme, kelepceli olmak, baska birine kelepceyle baglanmak, kelepceli kacis, polisiye, siyah beyaz
Rated 24 Nov 2010
65
60th
An engaging, fast-paced spy thriller with a good amount of humour thrown in for good measure. There are a few moments during the story where you need to suspend a certain level of disbelief, but that wasn't a major issue for me. Also kinda cool to see John Laurie acting in a role outside of Dad's Army. The lovable Private Frazer as a wife-beater... we're doomed, doomed I tell ya!
Rated 11 Nov 2009
60
40th
A fine "not yet Hitchock" movie. I liked it a lot, specially the Memory Man but not as special as his later movies.
Rated 31 Dec 2010
60
54th
watched: 2010, 2017
Rated 21 Feb 2023
70
57th
best early hitchcock(?) here hitchdick is trying out all his misogynistic stunts and antics which he perfects later
Rated 11 Jan 2019
80
77th
39 Steps has Hitchcock really starting to find his groove. Great blend of suspense and comedy, with the chemistry between Donat and Carroll standing out in particular. Cracking good fun, what!
Rated 22 Feb 2015
4
52nd
he's probably guilty for assaulting that woman though.
Rated 13 Apr 2009
5
93rd
"After the curtain has fallen, you'll be happy for a week."
Rated 11 Apr 2015
78
80th
Another classic Hitchcock.
Rated 28 Jun 2009
20
9th
Overall Enjoyment: 10/40, Plot/Themes: 5/20, Cinematography/Direction: 5/20, Acting/Writing: 0/20
Rated 03 Apr 2016
80
73rd
Great cinematography as you'd expect though little tension or pacing for a Hitchcock film (but he was young here).
Rated 22 Feb 2007
60
62nd
Great story great film.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
72nd
A top-flight Hitchcock triller set in 1930s London

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