MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,329 this week

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Mystery, Thriller  |  1 November 1938 (USA)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 33,312 users  
Reviews: 178 user | 119 critic

While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director:

Writers:

(based upon the story: "The Wheel Spins" by), (screen play) (as Sidney Gilliatt) , 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Related News

Nova Pilbeam obituary
| The Guardian - TV News
Nova Pilbeam obituary
| The Guardian - Film News
New on Video: ‘Jamaica Inn’
| SoundOnSight

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 14 Mar 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 18 Feb 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 Jul 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 28 Apr 2014
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Lady Vanishes (1938)

The Lady Vanishes (1938) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Lady Vanishes.

User Polls

2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The 39 Steps (1935)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man and his wife receive a clue to an imminent assassination attempt, only to learn that their daughter has been kidnapped to keep them quiet.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting "Uncle Charlie" may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Man on the run from a murder charge enlists a beautiful stranger who must put herself at risk for his cause.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Nova Pilbeam, Derrick De Marney, Percy Marmont
Secret Agent (1936)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After three British agents are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during World War I, two of them become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Young
Romance | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On the eve of WWII, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
Sabotage (1936)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Scotland Yard undercover detective is on the trail of a saboteur who is part of a plot to set off a bomb in London. But when the detective's cover is blown, the plot begins to unravel.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, Desmond Tester
Suspicion (1941)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke
Number 17 (1932)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A gang of thieves gather at a safe house following a robbery, but a detective is on their trail.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Leon M. Lion, Anne Grey, John Stuart
Saboteur (1942)
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, Otto Kruger
Spellbound (1945)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov
Lifeboat (1944)
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Several survivors of a torpedoed ship find themselves in the same boat with one of the men who sunk it.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Lockwood ...
...
...
...
Cecil Parker ...
Linden Travers ...
Naunton Wayne ...
Basil Radford ...
Mary Clare ...
Emile Boreo ...
Hotel Manager
...
Blanche
Sally Stewart ...
Julie
Philip Leaver ...
Signor Doppo
Selma Vaz Dias ...
Signora Doppo (as Zelma Vas Dias)
Catherine Lacey ...
The Nun (as Catherine Lacy)
Edit

Storyline

Passengers on a scheduled train out of the mountainous European country of Mandrika are delayed by a day due to an avalanche, and thus get up close and personal with each other out of necessity in the only and what becomes an overcrowded inn in the area. Once the train departs, the one person who it is uncertain is on the train is a middle aged English governess named Miss Froy. Iris Henderson, who was vacationing in Mandrika with girlfriends before heading back to England to get married, is certain that Miss Froy was on the train as they were in the same compartment and they had tea together in the dining car, but all those people who can corroborate her story don't seem to want to do so. Iris' thoughts are easily dismissed as a possible concussion as Iris was hit over the head just before boarding the train. Iris will take anyone's help in finding Miss Froy, even that of an Englishman named Gilbert, a musicologist with who she had a not so pleasant encounter at the inn the evening ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Comedy! Chills! Chuckles! in a Mystery Express! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

1 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dama desaparece  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic Film Full - Range Recording: at Islington, London)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Charters and Caldicott (played by Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne) proved to be such popular characters that they were teamed up in other films. They reappeared in Night Train to Munich (1940) (also starring Margaret Lockwood) and Millions Like Us (1943), two films also written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder. They also starred in the BBC Radio serials "Crook's Tour (1941)" (which was also made into a film), and "Secret Mission 609." The were played in the 1979 remake by Arthur Lowe and Ian Carmichael. In 1985, they reappeared in the BBC Television mystery mini-series, Charters & Caldicott (1985), played by Robin Bailey and Michael Aldridge. See more »

Goofs

Just after the train starts out, we see it on a high bridge; behind the locomotive and tender are a van, four passenger cars, and another van. Just after the lady vanishes, an exterior view along the side of the train shows at least five passenger cars, and we were told that there have been no stops. See more »

Quotes

Charters: You can't expect to put the two of us up in the maid's room.
Hotel Manager: Well don't get excited. I'll remove the maid out.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Colonel Bogey March
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by Kenneth Alford
Hummed by Michael Redgrave
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

the best of the early Hitchcock films
4 February 2001 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

This is the best of the early Hitchcock films. The plot is absorbing, the dialogue clever and the cast great. Whether or not this was the first of the director's films to place its principal action on a moving train I cannot say, but it's a theme that would come back again in his later work, most notably in "Strangers on a Train."

The film gets off to a somewhat rocky start with the camera panning over an Alpine inn and a train halted mid-journey by an avalanche. I agree with the review who observes that we've become spoilt by more sophisticated special effects. A Lionel half buried in a heap of bleached wheat flower just doesn't cut it nowadays. Think also of the stick figure engulfed in the munitions factory explosion in "Saboteur." I suppose directors of that era had to do with whatever was available.

But after this point the film really takes off, and one scarcely recalls the unpromising opening. Viewers always look for the chemistry or lack thereof between actors. Well, Lockwood and Redgrave definitely have it. One cannot help but enjoy seeing how the initial sparks flying between their clashing characters develop into true love by movie's end. As the two are making their way through the train trying to locate Whitty, they move from one barely plausible predicament to another. But we love it, as one witty exchange turns quickly into another. (For example, Lockwood is asked to describe the missing Whitty and launches into an extremely detailed portrait that leaves not a single button unaccounted for. Then she ends by saying, "That's all I can remember." Counters Redgrave dryly: "Well, you can't have been paying attention.")

Much of the film's action occurs in the fictional country of Bandrika, which seems to be a thinly disguised stand-in for nazi-controlled Austria, so recently annexed by Hitler's Germany. As an amateur linguist, I found myself trying to make sense of the made-up "Bandrikan" spoken by the natives, but of course was unable to do so. (What could it be? A Finno-Ugric language? :) Most of the time the identity of Hitchcock's villains remains deliberately vague, except in "Notorious" and "Torn Curtain," where they are nazis and communists respectively. It works better when he leaves us guessing.

As an amateur musician I loved Hitch's "macguffin," namely, the secret formula encoded in a song which the protagonists had to memorize and carry to the Foreign Office in London. (I should think, however, that a genuine secret message might translate into something more like Schoenberg's twelve-tone music than a central European folk song, but of course that would hardly work in a film. :)

The early Hitchcock seemed to like shootouts, as seen also in the first version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much." But shootouts are an ineffective way to convey suspense, and this is perhaps the one thing that dims what is otherwise a masterpiece.

It's too bad the director lived long enough to see this film remade in 1979. Cybil Shepherd is no Margaret Lockwood, and it's pretty unpleasant-almost embarrassing-to see her shrieking her way through each scene. Couldn't they have waited a few years until he had passed on? They ought to have let him die in peace.


43 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Questions about trains in UK mickeyone
Other train movies? oana5874
Two twits in bed together jawebster2000
I am still in shock - of how boring this movie is PiranianRose
Is horrid model shot charming or embarrassing? filmfancritic
Where is this film set? landchen
Discuss The Lady Vanishes (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?