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The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Mystery, Thriller  |  1 November 1938 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 32,752 users  
Reviews: 176 user | 119 critic

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

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Writers:

(based upon the story: "The Wheel Spins" by), (screen play) (as Sidney Gilliatt) , 1 more credit »
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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:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Hitchcock/Peter Bogdanovich Interview, Alfred Hitchcock revealed that Lady Vanishes was inspired by that legend of an Englishwoman who went with her daughter to the Palace Hotel in Paris in the 1880's, at the time of the Great Exposition. The woman was taken sick and they sent the girl across Paris to get some medicine, in a horse-vehicle, so it took about four hours, and when she came back she asked, "How's my mother?" "What mother?" "My mother. She's here, she's in her room. Room 22." They go up there. Different room, different wallpaper, everything. And the payoff of the whole story is, so the legend goes, that the woman had Bubonic plague and they dare not let anybody know she died, otherwise all of Paris would have emptied. That was the original situation and pictures like Lady Vanishes were all variations on it. See more »

Goofs

In Europe, the hotel manager says it is "spring" when talking about the avalanches. However, the two English travelers are trying to get back to England for the Manchester cricket test, which was always played in July. See more »

Quotes

Iris: [Following Miss Froy back to her compartment] Thank you for looking after me when I was - well, knocked out before.
Miss Froy: Never mind, dear. Now if I were you I'd try to get a little sleep. It'll make you feel quite well again! There's a most intriguing acrostic in the Needlewoman. I'm going to try to finish it before you wake up.
[Watches and then smiles as Iris closes her eyes]
See more »

Connections

Referenced 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

 
Classic Hitchcock!
16 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dame Mae Witty gives a memorable performance as the old woman who goes missing. The rest of the cast is great with Margaret Lockwood as the woman she befriends on the train. Sir Michael Redgrave also is wonderful as the obvious love interest of Lockwood. The film is truly filled with Hitchcock's stamp all over it. He takes a simple story and makes us not only intriguing but entertaining as well. They remade the film again in 1978 more than 40 years after this film debuted in British cinema. This classic film should not be mixed up with that one. I enjoyed this film. It had its humorous moments. I think this film is really wonderful to watch without being too much. Nowadays filmmakers can take note by Hitchcock's genius and talent. You do not need grand special effects today to create a memorable film but great actors and decent writing. This film is a great film about a good old fashioned mystery without deterring the audience. This film is good old fashioned movie making at its best.


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