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.
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
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 »
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 »
[Following Miss Froy back to her compartment]
Thank you for looking after me when I was - well, knocked out before.
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]
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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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