While it's true that this 1959 screen adaptation of The 39 Steps pales in comparison to Alfred Hitchcock's seminal 1935 version, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable romp that compensates for a lack of any tension whatsoever with a generous dose of genial good humour. Affable Kenneth More's Richard Hannay more closely resembles the kind of roles Cary Grant was playing for Hitch in the late 1950s; Finnish blonde Taina Elg, in the somewhat unlikely role of a prim Scottish schoolmistress, is his love interest. Although handcuffed together, More and Elg fail to radiate any... sexual chemistry, even when scandalously forced to share a room and a bed. Much better are the delightful cameos: Sid James as a roguish lorry driver; Brenda De Banzie as voluptuous psychic Nellie; and Joan Hickson as a simpering teacher. As a thriller it's hardly in the same league as North by Northwest, but as a window on life in England and Scotland in the 1950s, this 39 Steps has much to recommend it. --Mark Walker [show more]
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Buchan's classic story of a plot to assassinate the Greek Prime Minister and precipitate the outbreak of war.
The second version of John Buchan's classic thriller sees Kenneth More as the innocent man caught up in international intrigue. Richard Hannay (More) meets a young nanny and takes her back to his flat. He soon learns she is not all that she seems to be and when she is murdered he becomes the prime suspect. On the run from the police, he heads to Scotland and searches for the connection with the '39 Steps'.