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The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps was made and released in 1935.
Production Company: Production Company: Gaumont British Picture Corporation, Ltd.
Based on the novel by John Buchan


Watch Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps


Robert Donat... Richard Hannay
Madeleine Carroll... Pamela
Lucie Mannheim... Annabella Smith
Godfrey Tearle... Professor Jordan
Peggy Ashcroft... Margaret - Crofter's Wife
John Laurie... John - Crofter
Helen Haye... Mrs. Jordan
Frank Cellier... Sheriff Watson
Wylie Watson... Mr. Memory (Wylie Watson also appears in Jamaica Inn)
Gus McNaughton... Commercial Traveller with Pipe (as Gus Mac Naughton)
Jerry Verno... Commercial Traveller
Peggy Simpson... Maid

Mr. Memory

Mr. Memory [...] is based on a true-life musichall personality called Datas. The audience would ask him questions about major events, like: "When did the Titanic sink?" and he would give the correct answer. There were also trick questions. One of them was: "When did Good Friday fall on a Tuesday?" And the answer was: "Good Friday was a horse running at Wolverhampton race track and he fell at the first hurdle on Tuesday, June 21, 1864."
Alfred Hitchcock to Francois Truffaut


The Wrong Man Motif

In many Hitchcock movies an innocent man is escaping from the police (and often also the bad guys).




Hitchcock explaining to Truffaut what the MacGuffin is: "It's the device, the gimmick, if you will, or the papers the spies are after. [...] the "MacGuffin" is the term we use to cover all that sort of thing: to steal plans or documents, or discover a secret, it doesn't matter what it is. And the logicians are wrong in trying to figure out the truth of a MacGuffin, since it's beside the point. The only thing that really matters is that in the picture the plans, documents, or secrets must seem to be of vital importance to the characters. To me, the narrator, they're of no importance whatever.

Hichcock Films with a MacGuffin


The 39 Steps (1935)

Truffaut: at the beginning of the movie, when Robert Donat is locked up in a flat in which a woman has been stabbed, he notices from the window two spies pacing back and forth in the street. You sho'vved those spies from his viewpoint; the camera was in the room and the spies were outside, on the sidewalk. They were shown from a distance. But in the remake Ralph Thomas has two or three close shots of the spies in the street. Because of this the scene loses its whole impact; the two men are no longer strange and sinister and there is simply no reason to feel afraid for the hero.
Hitchcock: It's really too bad; they miss the whole point. It's obvious that you can't change your viewpoint in the midst of a situation of that kind.

Francois Truffaut: Hitchcock



The 39 Steps (1935) titles

39 Steps Hitchcock Title Hitchcock Titles
Hitchcock Titles  


Some High Angle Shots


When Roddy (Ivor Novello) leaves the school after having been expelled, he is seen from above and looks small and depressed.

The 39 Steps When Professor Jordan (Godfrey Tearle) is trapped, we see the stage he is on in a high angle shot.

Secret Agent

When the organ player is found dead in the church, we see this from the bell towrer where Ashenden and the Mexican is hiding.


When Lisa has spoken with the detectives after Beaky's death

Shadow of a Doubt

The high shot from the roof in Philadelphia when uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) has tricked the detectives and escaped their surveillance. Here the high angle shot illustrates that uncle Charlie is in total control.
After little Charlie has read the article at the library confirming that her uncle is the Merry Widower Murderer, the camera moves up to the roof, leaves little Charlie "down there" - she is devastated as she slowly walks out

I Confess Father Logan (Montgomery Clift) is seen from a high angle when he is on his way to turn himself in.

Dial M for Murder

When Tony is telling Lesgate hos the murder plan is to be set out.
When Lesgate arrives the apartement.
When Tony is asked by the police if he knows who committed the murder.
When the detectives are searching the apartement
Just befor Tony enters the apartemenet at the end, Margo and Mark is seen from above.

The Trouble With Harry

When Sammy (John Forsythe) and Captain Albert Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) is digging to get Harry out of the ground.

The Birds A high angle shot of Bodega Bay occurs when the gulls descend on the town to attack.


When Kusenov is asked if he knows about the spy ring called Topaz, there are several high angle shots.


When Richard Blaney (Jon Finch) is put in his cell after the verdict has been read.
When Oxford is sitting alone in the courtroom thinking that they might have caught the wrong man.

Family Plot

When Fran and Adamson comes up from the cellar, they are seen from above (which includes the crystals in the frame)
During the funeral when Humley is following Maloney's mother to speak with her, we see this from a high angle.

High angle shots



Original Title

German Title

Italian Title

French Title

The Pleasure Garden Irrgarten der Leidenschaft Il giardino del piacere Le Jardin d'Agrément
The Mountain Eagle Der Bergadler L'aquila della montagna L'Aigle de la Montagne
The Lodger
aka: The Case of Jonathan Drew (U.S.)
  Il pensionante Les Cheveux d'Or
Downhill   Il declino La Pente / Downhill
Easy Virtue   Virtù facile Le passé ne meurt pas
The Ring   Vinci per me Le Masque de cuir
The Farmer’s Wife   La moglie del fattore Laquelle des trois ?
Champagne   Tabarin di lusso À l'américaine / Champagne
The Manxman   L'isola del peccato The Manxman
Blackmail Erpressung Ricatto Chantage
Juno and the Paycock
aka: The Shame of Mary Boyle
  Giunone e il pavone Junon et le paon
Murder! Sir John greift ein Omicidio! Meurtre
The Skin Game Bis auf's Messer Fiamma d'amore The Skin Game
Number Seventeen Nummer Siebzehn Numero diciassette Numéro dix-sept
Rich and Strange Endlich sind wir reich Ricco e strano À l'est de Shanghai
Waltzes from Vienna
Strauss Great Waltz (U.S. title)
  Vienna di Strauss Le Chant du Danube
The Man Who Knew Too Much Der Mann, der zuviel wußte L'uomo che sapeva troppo L'Homme qui en savait trop
The 39 Steps 39 Stufen Il club dei trentanove Les 39 Marches
Secret Agent Geheimagent L'agente segreto Quatre de l'espionnage
Sabotage   Sabotaggio Agent secret
Young and Innocent
aka: The Girl Was Young (U.S. title)
Jung und unschuldig Giovane e innocente Jeune et innocent
The Lady Vanishes Eine Dame verschwindet La signora scompare Une femme disparaît
Jamaica Inn Riff-Piraten / Die Taverne von Jamaika La taverna della Giamaica La Taverne de la Jamaïque
Rebecca Rebecca / Rebekka Rebecca, la prima moglie Rebecca
Foreign Correspondent Mord Il prigioniero di Amsterdam Correspondant 17
Mr. and Mrs. Smith Mr. und Mrs. Smith Il signore e la signora Smith Joies matrimoniales
Suspicion Verdacht Il sospetto Soupçons
Saboteur Saboteure Sabotatori La Cinquième colonne
Shadow of a Doubt Im Schatten des Zweifels L'ombra del dubbio L'Ombre d'un doute
Lifeboat Das Rettungsboot Prigionieri dell'oceano Lifeboat
Spellbound Ich kämpfe um Dich Io ti salverò La Maison du docteur Edwardes
Notorious Berüchtigt
(Weißes Gift)
Notorious, l'amante perduta Les Enchaînés
The Paradine Case Der Fall Paradin Il caso Paradine Le Procès Paradine
Rope Cocktail für eine Leiche Nodo alla gola La Corde
Under Capricorn Sklavin des Herzens Il peccato di Lady Considine Les Amants du Capricorne
Stage Fright Die rote Lola Paura in palcoscenico Le Grand Alibi
Strangers on a Train Der Fremde im Zug
(Verschwörung im Nordexpress)
L'altro uomo L'Inconnu du Nord-Express
I Confess Ich beichte
(Zum Schweigen verurteilt)
Io confesso La Loi du silence
Dial M for Murder Bei Anruf Mord Il delitto perfetto Le crime était presque parfait
Rear Window Das Fenster zum Hof La finestra sul cortile Fenêtre sur cour
To Catch a Thief Über den Dächern von Nizza Caccia al ladro La Main au collet
The Trouble with Harry Immer Ärger mit Harry La congiura degli innocenti Mais qui a tué Harry
The Man Who Knew Too Much Der Mann, der zuviel wußte L'uomo che sapeva troppo L'Homme qui en savait trop
The Wrong Man Der falsche Mann Il ladro Le Faux Coupable
Vertigo Aus dem Reich der Toten La donna che visse due volte Sueurs froides
North by Northwest   Intrigo internazionale La Mort aux trousses
Psycho Psycho Psyco Psychose
The Birds Die Vögel Gli uccelli Les Oiseaux
Marnie Marnie Marnie Pas de printemps pour Marnie
Torn Curtain Der zerissene Vorhang Il sipario strappato Le Rideau déchiré
Topaz Topas Topaz L'Étau
Frenzy Frenzy Frenzy Frenzy
Family Plot Familiengrab

Complotto di famiglia

Complot de famille





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