This film is based on a novel of 1915 by John Buchan and the time period is just prior to the onset of World War I. Richard Hannay is a mining engineer on a holiday from the African colonies. He spends his time out all night on a lot of nights because he finds London to be very dull. One of his nights out, he arrives back at his flat and his neighbor Scudder barges in. He claims German spies are after him and that he has secret information that is very important for the British Government. Within a few minutes, the Germans have also come into the apartment. Scudder is immediately killed and Richard is entrusted with Scudder’s notebook written in some kind of code. Richard is immediately suspected of killing Scudder and he’s on the run from the London police. Richard takes a train to get out of London and he tries to figure out the code written in Roman numerals.
There are a few more plot ingredients added to this film not included in the novel. The scenery of Scotland is very beautiful. I liked the clothing, hairstyles, cars and the manners of this period. With the plot twists and turns, it’s not easy to tell who is on the side of the Germans and who is on the side of the British 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
90 min, Crime directed by James Hawes with Rupert Penry-Jones, Lydia Leonard, David Haig, Patrick Malahide, Patrick Kennedy, Eddie Marsan, Alex Jennings, Steven Elder, Werner Daehn, Peter Stark Del Synnott.
Note: Imdb 6.4 out of 10, Rotten Tomatoes 42% audience, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 584 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in various Scotland locations. There are five other versions of this film from 1935, 1959, 2003, 2010 and one in development.