and Robert Donat in
Hitchcock's 'The 39 steps', 1935.
The enduring popularity of John Buchan's 'The thirty-nine steps' has led to many adaptations and variations on the story.
These include plays, comics, film, radio and television adaptations, starring the main character Richard Hannay and his spy chase through Scotland.
Alfred Hitchcock's 'The 39 steps'
Director Alfred Hitchcock had enduring success with his adaptation of 'The 39 steps' in 1935. The script, written by Charles Bennet and Ian Hay, introduced a music hall turn, a cool blonde, handcuffs, and the Forth Bridge to the story.
More film versions
A colour film of 'The 39 steps' was released in 1959 starring Kenneth More and directed by Ralph Thomas. This was followed by another version starring Robert Powell in 1978. Both were filmed in Scottish locations.
'The thirty-nine steps' in other media
Adaptations of the novel are not limited to film. Further variations on the story include:
- Dick Davis and Jim Lavery's comic book edition, 1950
- A radio adaptation starring Orson Welles, 1939
- A BBC television adaptation starring Rupert Penry-Jones in 2008
- Patrick Barlow's long-running tongue-in-cheek theatrical adaptation at London's Criterion Theatre, 2015.
This cigarette card featured in our display, 'The thirty-nine steps', at the Library from 10 September to 22 November 2015.