The 39 Steps

Synopsis: Richard Hannay, a mining engineer on holiday from the African colonies, finds London socialite life terribly dull. Yet it's more then he bargained for when secret agent, Scudder, bursts into his room and entrusts him a coded notebook with map, concerning the impending start of World War I. In no time both German agents and the British law are chasing him, ruthlessly coveting the Roman numerals code, which Hannay believes he must crack himself. Masquerading as a liberal party pundit, Richard also gets stuck with parliamentary candidate Sir George Sinclair's sister Victoria. They must survive with the secrets and decide who they can trust and how to keep it from others.
Director(s): James Hawes
Production: Warner Home Video
  1 win.
90 min

In cafes and salons across Europe,

groups huddled together

discussing politics, philosophy,

- nationhood.

- Your malt, Mr Hannay.

Thank you.

- Soda, sir?

- No, thank you.

In London, talk was of Hobbs' dismissal

for four by Haig at the Oval.

Sticky wicket, old boy,

- that's what did for him.

- That's cricket, by the way.

I'd only recently

returned from Africa.

Everything in England seemed

cliquey, claustrophobic,


And frankly

deathly, deathly, dull.


I'd stay out all night,

seeking entertainment.

- Good night, Sir.

- Good night.

It's Mr...

Scudder, isn't it?

- I believe you live on the third floor.

- two men out there who want to kill me.

Well, if you make a habit of

crashing into other people's homes,

I'm not surprised.

Now if you'll excuse me,

I'd rather a long night...

I'm not afraid to fire.

- I served as a soldier...

- Second Boer War,

intelligence officer

under Hamilton at Rooiwal.

- How did you know that?

- It's my business to know

who my neighbours are, Mr Hannay.


what's the story?

I am a freelance agent

for the British

Secret Service Bureau.

My housekeeper told me

you were an accountant.

I don't make a habit

of telling people that I'm a spy.

Nowlast night I was supposed

to meet someone from the Bureau

to exchange information.

But it was a double cross.

Obviously I've been betrayed.

I've been on the trail

of a German espionage ring

and I tracked down their headquarters

to a village in Scotland.

You should contact the Weekly News.

They're offering 10 to anyone

spotting a German agent.

An espionage ring could

make you a very wealthy man.

I apologise for having disturbed you,

Mr Hannay.

With your permission, I will attempt

to evade my would-be assassins

and report on what

I've learnt to my superior.

No-one should involve

themselves in intelligence work

without a good breakfast.

Do you have the key to this?

I'll go and get it.

Eat, Mr Scudder.

Life never seems as grim

after a couple of fried eggs.

I've heard whispers of a plot

to assassinate a high-ranking

European royal figure.


- Who?

- Suffice it to say,

for those who wish to see war,

this man's death could light the tinder.

It is very possible I won't

survive once I leave here.

If you love your country,

take this... to Captain Kell

at the Secret Service Bureau.

And trust no-one else.

You've picked the wrong man.

- I'm shipping back out to Africa as...

- Then drop it off on your way.

- How do you know you can trust me?

- I don't.

But right now, you're all I have.

Leave it.

I don't imagine German spies knock.

I have a note for

a gentleman named Scudder?

Where is the notebook?

Did I hear a gunshot?

Yes, follow me.

A man's been murdered.

I think the killers

are still inside.

They must have left by the fire escape.

If we hurry...

- Is that the murder weapon?

- My revolver. Yes.

I'd put it on the table.

Then I, I went to open the door.

I thought it was the milkman. It wasn't.

- Who was it?

- A German spy dressed as a milkman.

A German spy dressed as a milkman

shot the deceased with your gun?

No, his accomplice did.

- And was he dressed as a milkman?

- No.

Know this sounds incredible.

I was sceptical when Scudder...

Scudder will be the name

of the deceased gentleman?

Yes. I'd never met him

before this morning.

If you'd never met him before,

how did he land up dead

on your living room floor?

- He push my frontdoor.

- He broke in?

- Not exactly.

- And what did you do

- when he barged through your door?

- I drew my gun, naturally.

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Lizzie Mickery

Elizabeth Mickery is a British writer and former actress. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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