The Lady Vanishes : The Film - The Book - The Poster
Excuse me. But has anybody seen that nice lady I was just sitting with? Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty)?
Yesterday, she had a bite to eat with Charters and Caldicott (Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne) whilst we were all staying at the same foreign hotel together. It was roughly at the same time I had an argument with that noisy chap living upstairs from me, Gilbert (Michael Redgrave).
Then, today, we both boarded a train headed towards
Drank a cup of tea. Before -- POOF! -- she just vanished into thin air.
Pardon? Did you just ask me who I am? Why I'm Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) of course. And presently I'm running around like a head-less chicken looking for Miss Froy with Gilbert.
Nobody seems to remember seeing her you see. None of the passengers. None of the staff. Not even that love-lost couple, Mr. and Mrs. Todhunter (Cecil Parker and Linden Travers).
Admittedly, a gallant Doctor called Hartz (Paul Lukas) thinks that I could be making up this missing person's scenario myself. Yet I'm not you know. I saw her. I did. I remember what she wore, what she said, and certain things I can prove if given half a chance.
Still. That's most probably why what next transpires all shows its face when a train calls in at a station. As a patient is not who it seems - liars group in teams - a shoot out is helmed by a goon - and this adventure ends on a right melodious tune. Choo-Choo!
Now without sounding like a total film geek, I've got to state for the record that in my eyes 'The Lady Vanishes' is a perfect film. Honestly. It's one of those movies that'll keep you at the very edge of your seat from the very beginning to the very end. Constantly tantalizing you with a shed load of questions, characters, plus an intriguing premise that just spell's class in a can.
OK, I admit, I'm sure some of you more action-driven folks will find it slow on occasion. And it does have a very British way of poking fun at the English manner and decorum, whenever it has a chance to do so within the confines of its' narrative.
Now I'm sure some of you are wondering to yourselves why I enjoyed this 1938 version of 'The Lady Vanishes' so much. Well, without putting too finer point on it, it would have to be because it has a very innovative way of drawing you into its cinematic clutches.
Granted. I know that I'm biased, and that this textual formula seems fairly standard by today's thrillers. Having said that, though, if you love story, pathos, films cobbled together by Alfred Hitchcock, and all of the majesty of yesteryear, I'd bet my bottom dollar you'd like it as well.
So overall, I would have to say that 'The Lady Vanishes' is a very special film. It's very timely. It's very English. It's very well acted and staged. Plus to top it all off, it's something that will keep you at the edge of your seats if you a fan of intrigue and suspense.
Say no more.
THE RATING: A