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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 30,499 users  
Reviews: 165 user | 109 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), 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:

Spies! Playing the game of love - and sudden death!


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

Although he uses the fictitious Bandrikan language when speaking to his staff, at the end of the phone conversation in which he conveys Iris's room service order for "champagne", Boris, the harassed hotel manager, exclaims, "Oy vey is mir", a Yiddish expression meaning "woe is me." 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

Dr. Hartz: And I am Dr. Egon Hartz; you may have heard of me.
Gilbert: Not the brain surgeon?
Dr. Hartz: Yes, the same.
Gilbert: Yes, you flew over to England the other day and operated on one of our cabinet ministers.
Dr. Hartz: Oh, yes.
Gilbert: Tell me, did you find anything?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Thirteenth Floor (1999) 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

 
An Early Hitchcock Classic
21 May 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Although Hitchcock was noted for his wit and often sprinkled his films with wickedly funny moments, he seldom gave comic elements such a free reign as he did in THE LADY VANISHES, which is among the most memorable of his early British films. Charmingly cast with Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, and Dame May Witty in the leads, the extremely witty script mixes 1930s romantic froth with increasingly tense suspense in the story of sharp witted young woman (Lockwood) who befriends an elderly lady (Witty) during a train journey--and is extremely disturbed when, as the title states, the lady vanishes.

Many regard this as the best of Hitchcock's early work, and it is easy to see why: the film demonstrates his growing talent for building suspense from an unlikely mix of the commonplace and the incredible. He is also remarkably blessed in his cast, with Lockwood and Redgrave possessing considerable chemistry and Dame May Witty particularly endearing in one of the character roles at which she so excelled; the supporting cast is also particularly memorable.

Hitchcock guides them all with never a misstep through a complex script that progresses from very lighthearted to extremely sinister and then back again, and the result leaves audiences with both the satisfaction of a well-made thriller and the glow of a romantic comedy. Although it lacks the subtle tones of his later work, THE LADY VANISHES is among my own favorites by Hitchcock, and fans who have never seen it are in for a real treat. Highly recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


86 of 103 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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