THE 39 STEPS 1935
The 39 Steps, duh.
WHAT IS IT?
“An organization of spies, collecting information on behalf of the foreign office of…” Bang! In Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, based on a novel by John Buchan, a regular dude (Robert Donat) finds himself ensnared in a battle between evil spies and counterspies over secret weapons plans.
They transmit secrets using memory tricksters, who are killed as soon as they step out of line. Harsh!
No slinky bad girls, lethal gadgets, or supervillains. Still, the book was a major influence onian Fleming’s Bond novels.