Thirty Nine Steps, The (1978)

Date: 1978
Director: Don Sharp
Production Company: The Rank Organisation, Norfolk International Pictures

Stars: Robert Powell, David Warner, Karen Dotrice, John Mills, Miles Anderson, Timothy West
Location(s): Buckinghamshire, Dumfries & Galloway, London, Shropshire, Worcestershire

Region(s): , , ,


Mining Engineer Richard Hannay is drawn into danger when one of his neighbours tells him that Prussian agents are planning to cause a war by murdering a visiting foreign minister.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Also known as ‘The 39 Steps’

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Early in 1914, a coded cable was sent from a European power to a house in west London. Decoded it read "Let the sleepers awake".

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The Houses of Parliament in London SW1 by Peter.

Retired British officer, Colonel Scudder (John Mills) makes his way through the London fog to a meeting with Lord Harkness and Sir Hugh Porton. This appears to be the ramp from Chelsea Embankment to Cadogan Pier in SW3.

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Reckon so. Roof in better condition. SJ

Two enemy agents, Marshall (Donald Pickering) and Bayliss (Ronald Pickup), appear as their leader watches nearby. The steps leading down from Albert Bridge to Chelsea Embankment in SW3.

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By contrast, a crystal clear day. SJ

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Lord Harkness (William Squire) arrives home and is killed by Sir Edmund Appleton.

Colonel Scudder rushes out of his apartment after realising that Sir Hugh's life is in danger. Albert Court, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 identified in the 'London Film Location Guide' by Simon James.

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From a similar viewpoint by Peter.

The intelligence officer descends to the roadway. Prince Consort Road with the Royal College of Music in the background.

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The location as it is now, captured by Peter.

A cab is hailed to take Scudder to the Empire Rooms.

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Prince Consort Road SW7 by Peter.

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Scudder arrives as Sir Edmund and Sir Hugh come out of a government meeting. To the left stands Queen Mary Court in the Royal Naval College, Greenwich SE10.

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Sir Edmund Appleton (David Warner) Sir Hugh Porton (Timothy West) make their way towards a crown of suffragettes. The steps of Queen Mary Court.

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A the demonstrators chant, a shot is fire and Sir Hugh falls to the ground. Facing Queen Anne Court from Queen Mary Court.

A figure watches outside as Scudder prepares to leave his apartment after guessing that Sir Edmund is behind the killings. Likely to be Jay Mews as it runs around the Royal Albert Hall.

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Scudder (Mills) looks out of one of his windows north. Taken from ground level. SJ

Prussian agents make for the flat as Scudder seeks help from Richard Hannay, another occupant of the building. This looks like Jay Mews as seen from Albert Court.

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Then he checks the view west from his flat window. Taken from ground level. SJ

The morning after Scudder explains the Prussian threat to Hannay, the enemy agents return.

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Peter found the same statue plinth with an added door and the new extension built in the late 1990s in the background.

Marshall and Bayliss head for Hannay's apartment where they suspect that Scudder may be hiding.

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Peter sent this replacement shot after originally missing the base of the statue plinth on left.

After Hannay leaves to book train tickets for Strathallan in Scotland, Scudder makes his escape when the agents try the door. The back of Albert Hall Mansions on Kensington Gore in SW7.

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A tree appears to have sprouted. Must be all that rain! Picture by Peter.

A Prussian agent fails to spot a disguised Scudder leave the building.

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No Prussian in this shot from Peter who adds that "this is the new plinth built in May 2001".

Wearing Hannay's clothes, Scudder moves swiftly down the steps.

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The same steps by Peter.

Marshall and Bayliss return to the courtyard after finding the flat empty.

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Peter sent this of the same location now.

Scudder rushes on as Bayliss scans the area. The steps running down from the Royal Albert Hall to Prince Consort Road. The area around the famous landmark has appeared in many films including 'Interlude', 'Hennessy', 'The Seventh Veil', 'Quest for Love', 'The Mutations' and 'The Ipcress File'

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Another comparison from Peter.

The Milkman (Leo Dolan) calls out to the Colonel when he recognises him.

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Prince Consort Road, London SW7 from Peter.

After depositing a package in a nearby post box, Scudder darts into a cab.

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Peter took a similar shot from ground level.

The agents call over their car and follow Scudder to St. Pancras station. Prince Consort Road, London SW7.

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The same spot by Peter.

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When Scudder is murdered at the station (which was a set), Hannay is arrested and appears in court. The entrance to King William Court at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

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A car speeds towards the the crowd as Hannay is led from the building. The south west face of King William Court at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

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Prussian agents snatch Hannay from outside the court. The corner of King William Court and King Charles's Court in the Naval College, Greenwich SE10.

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Richard Hannay (Robert Powell) is allowed to escape, after being questioned by Sir Edmund.

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Taking on the guise of a priest, Hannay shakes off the pursuing agents and boards a train to Scotland. The island platform at Bewdley station on the Severn Valley Railway in Worcestershire.

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The train carries Hannay north. Oldbury Viaduct near Daniel's Mill between Bridgnorth and Eardington on the Severn Valley Railway in Shropshire.

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When learning of Hannay's flight, Chief Superintendent Lomas (Eric Porter) orders Martins (Oliver Maguire) to search every train to Scotland.

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Lomas strides into the police station.

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The train speeds through a station as police forces en route are alerted. Bewdley station on the Severn Valley Railway in Worcestershire.

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At the next station, the train is stopped and officers board. Highley station in Shropshire.

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The train proceeds as the police start their search. Highley station on the Severn Valley Railway.

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The fugitive leaves his compartment as the police move through the train. Victoria Bridge on the Severn Valley Railway. Also seen in 'The Seven-Per-Cent Solution'.

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Hannay pulls the communication cord, stopping the train on fictional Drumbriggs viaduct. Victoria Bridge over the River Severn in Worcestershire.

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As the police and passengers recover from the sudden stop, Hannay makes his escape. Victoria Bridge between between Arley and Bewdley stations.

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The enemy agents and police continue their search as Hannay makes his way across the moors before meeting with Hamilton on his shoot.

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Now posing as Dick Royce, Hannay is taken back to the house with Hamilton and his guests. Castlemilk House in Dumfries & Galloway.

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The stranger is offered a hot bath and dinner whilst in London, the police realise that Hannay is innocent of Scudder's murder. Castlemilk House near Lockerbie.

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Whilst continuing his escape on the following day, Hannay is mistaken for the Liberal spokesman by Sir Harry McLean (Paul McDowell).

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The Prussian agents approach as Hannay and McLean drive away.

After addressing a meeting which the Prussians as well as Hamilton and his fiancée attend, Hannay takes a bicycle to get away. Alan Watt identifies this as Kettleholm Village Hall in the village of Kettleholm, Dumfries & Galloway to the south of Lockerbie.

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Alan provides this wider shot of the hall. Image copyright Google.

When he's caught, Hannay is rescued from the Prussians by Hamilton and his fiancée Alex and taken to a ruined castle. Morton Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

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The little altered landscape by Alan Watt.

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Inside the castle, Hannay explains his plight and the murder of Scudder.

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Alex Mackenzie (Karen Dotrice) and David Hamilton (Miles Anderson) try to unravel the puzzle of Scudder's last words to Hannay. Morton Castle near Carronbridge, Dumfries and Galloway.

"Most of us", "Ghost of us" . . . . . "Post Office"

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Alan's brother Graham stands in admirably for Robert Powell.

Alex and Hannay head for Strathallan Post Office. Durisdeer in Dumfries & Galloway with the Parish Church to the left and the War Memorial centre.

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Carriages have given way to cars in Alan Watt's modern view.

Hannay collects the package containing a notebook posted to him by Scudder. Durisdeer, a small village at the foot of the Lowther Hills.

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The two return to Hamilton's house. Castlemilk House in former Dumfriesshire.

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Whilst Alex drives the carriage, Hannay reads of the thirty nine steps. Castlemilk House near Lockerbie, Dumfries & Galloway.

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Hamilton's dog alerts Alex and Richard to trouble in the house.

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After finding Hamilton dead in the house, Hannay is shot by a Prussian agent whilst escaping with Alex.

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Chief Superintendent Lomas and Martins drive Hannay to the house where he was kept prisoner.

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The camera pans with the car.

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When they come to a stand, Martins is sent to find out who lives in the house.

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Martins returns after finding that the house belongs to Sir Edmund Appleton.

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Lomas turns on Hannay telling him that Sir Edmund is a successful businessman with friends in the government.

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With only a few minutes to spare, Hannay and the police rush to the Houses of Parliament Clock Tower where a bomb has been planted intended to kill the visiting Greek Prime Minister.

Onlookers watch as Hannay climbs out onto the face of the clock to prevent it from reaching 11:45. Parliament Square, London SW1.

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On the corner of Great George Street. SJ

Shots are fired and an agent falls to his death as Lomas and his men enter the mechanism room of the tower. Parliament Square with the west towers of Westminster Abbey in the left of centre background.

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Right location but the wrong time of day, by Peter.

Sir Edmund waits for his agents on a launch on the Thames. Westminster Pier in the Thames off Victoria Embankment.

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The new piers appear in this comparison by Peter.

After the bomb is disarmed, Hannay and Lomas make their way to the launch dressed in the intended disguises of the agents. The ramp to Westminster Pier from Westminster Bridge Road with the Houses of Parliament in the distance.

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Peter again with this image of the new exit.

Police officers look down as Sir Edmund Appleton is captured. Looking up towards the Clock Tower, now the Elizabeth Tower, from Westminster Pier in London SW1.

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The best shot that Peter could take at high tide.