The 39 Steps
Drama | English | 86 minutes
During a performance at a London Music Hall, Richard Hannay hears a gunshot. Panicked audience members race to the exits. Hannay helps a frightened young woman successfully escape. Hannay takes her to his flat. There she introduces herself as Annabella Smith. She also confesses to Hannay that she fired the shot in the theater to create a diversion so she could escape pursuing assassins. Annabella alerts Hannay there is a plot to steal vital British military information. The mastermind is a man with a missing top joint of one finger. She adds the importance of The 39 Steps but offers no explanation as to its meaning. An assassin was able to enter the flat and kills Annabella. Hannay finds her clutching a map of Scotland with a farm “Alt-na Shlach” circled. Hannay takes the train to Scotland. While on board he finds out the police suspect him to be Annabella’s killer. When police search the train, Hannay eludes them by passionately kissing the only woman on board, Pamela. Both become involved in finding the man with the missing top joint of one finger, stop him from transmitting vital British secrets to a foreign enemy, and find out the meaning of The 39 Steps
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 96%
- Metacritic Score: 93
- BFI: The 39 Steps was named the fourth best British film of the 20th century.
- Online Film & Television Association: Selected to the OFTA Film Hall of Fame.
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An action movie with style and substance, THE 39 STEPS is a masterclass in propulsive cinema that even today’s so-called blockbuster auteurs should study.
A master of shock and suspense, of cold horror and slyly incongruous wit, Hitchcock uses his camera the way a painter uses his brush.
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