IMDb > The Lady Vanishes (1938)
The Lady Vanishes
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The Lady Vanishes (1938) More at IMDbPro »

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The Lady Vanishes -- While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.
The Lady Vanishes -- Trailer for The Lady Vanishes

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   31,177 votes »
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Down 44% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ethel Lina White (based upon the story: "The Wheel Spins" by)
Sidney Gilliat (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Lady Vanishes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 November 1938 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Comedy! Chills! Chuckles! in a Mystery Express! See more »
Plot:
While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A Million Mexicans Can't Be Wrong! See more (170 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Margaret Lockwood ... Iris Henderson

Michael Redgrave ... Gilbert

Paul Lukas ... Dr. Hartz

Dame May Whitty ... Miss Froy
Cecil Parker ... Mr. Todhunter
Linden Travers ... 'Mrs.' Todhunter / 'Mrs' Todhunter
Naunton Wayne ... Caldicott
Basil Radford ... Charters
Mary Clare ... Baroness
Emile Boreo ... Hotel Manager

Googie Withers ... Blanche
Sally Stewart ... Julie
Philip Leaver ... Signor Doppo
Selma Vaz Dias ... Signora Doppo (as Zelma Vas Dias)
Catherine Lacey ... The Nun (as Catherine Lacy)
Josephine Wilson ... Madame Kummer / Mme. Kummer
Charles Oliver ... The Officer
Kathleen Tremaine ... Anna
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man in London Railway Station (uncredited)
Roy Russell ... Violinist (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
Ethel Lina White (based upon the story: "The Wheel Spins" by)

Sidney Gilliat (screen play) (as Sidney Gilliatt) and
Frank Launder (screen play)

Produced by
Edward Black .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Louis Levy (uncredited)
Charles Williams (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Jack E. Cox (photography) (as Jack Cox)
 
Film Editing by
R.E. Dearing (editing)
 
Set Decoration by
Alex Vetchinsky (settings) (as Vetchinsky)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roy Ward Baker .... assistant director (uncredited)
Tom D. Connochie .... first assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Maurice Carter .... assistant set designer (uncredited)
Albert Jullion .... assistant set designer (uncredited)
Albert Whitlock .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Sydney Wiles .... recording (as S. Wiles)
Claude Hitchcock .... sound assistant (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Leslie Gilliat .... camera operator (uncredited)
Len Harris .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Leo Harris .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Maurice Oakley .... location photographer (uncredited)
Jack Parry .... location photographer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Alfred Roome .... cutting
 
Music Department
Louis Levy .... musical director
Cecil Milner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Alma Reville .... continuity
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Gainsborough Pictures (presents) (as GB Pictures) (as A 'Gainsborough' picture) (as A Gainsborough Picture also)
DistributorsOther Companies
  • Excelsior Films  Googie Withers by permission of (as Excelsior Film Productions Ltd.)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (British Acoustic Film Full - Range Recording: at Islington, London)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG (alternate rating) | Australia:G (original rating) | Canada:PG | Chile:14 | Finland:K-12 (1995) | Germany:12 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1939) | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 (2003) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1986) (1993) (1998) (2002) (2003) (2004) (2005) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #02144) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the original cut, as seen in the 25th Anniversary national re-release of 1963, Charters and Caldicott have to share the same pair of pyjamas in the hotel after Charters has accidentally dropped his in the water jug. In later years and showings this innocent preamble has been snipped out and we cut straight to them in bed together. Though we can still see Charters' pyjamas hanging up to dry, the explanation has disappeared.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Set in winter, yet when Miss Froy stands at the hotel window to admire the moon and stars, there is a tree-branch with thick full living leaves above her head.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Colonel Bogey MarchSee more »

FAQ

Did Hitchcock use MacGuffins in any of his other films?
How does the movie end?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
32 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
A Million Mexicans Can't Be Wrong!, 30 December 2003
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

Alfred Hitchcock was noted for his light comic touch, but history records only one attempt at a full-out comedy, 1955's "The Trouble With Harry." The real trouble with "Harry" is it's not funny, but fortunately Hitchcock did leave us with a much surer and defter comedy in the guise of a thriller. Enter "The Lady Vanishes."

The opening scene gets a lot of hackles from people, as we find ourselves in a mountain valley where, after the credits roll, the camera glides over what is obviously a miniature train set. We even see a toy roadster glide by as the camera closes on the exterior of a model house.

Why, it's so primitive and fake! exclaim viewers accustomed to "Matrix"-style FX.

But they miss the point, and not just because they fail to take account of the time when the film was made. Here's what I think: Hitchcock shot the scene with a deliberate nod at the hokeyness of it, reminding his audience from the start that this is not the real thing but play-acting, to be taken as such. He knows it looks a bit phony (though the arresting pan-and-zoom would be the sort of opening other directors would imitate as soon as the technology let them). The focus of "The Lady Vanishes" is not politics, or even mystery. It is fun, in the same non-critical way as a child's entertainment. In this, Hitchcock succeeds, and creates no mere time capsule but a vessel of entertainment that has withstood decades of changing fashion, because it is first, last, and always fun.

"The Lady Vanishes" is the sort of film that works on pace, craft, and charm. The plot is well thought-out, provided you yourself try not to think about it much. There's really no reason for the story to go down the way it does, and once the movie is over, you begin to see the holes. Why is it necessary for British intelligence to go through so much trouble for info that could be just as easily delivered by telegram, or diplomatic pouch? Why, if you cold-bloodedly swipe a woman from a train, do you leave a witness behind to blurt out that there's been a disappearance? How come a name written on the inside of a train compartment window is erased by a blast of locomotive smoke across the outside of the window? But the engaging plot does what it is supposed to, keeping you interested and wondering what will happen next, rather than why it is happening the way it is.

The storyline of "The Lady Vanishes" is unlike any Hitchcock film. It's so light and airy that it reminds me more of a Tintin comic book, with the mythical Slavic nation of Vandreka the sort of simultaneously quaint and suspicious setting Herge would stick Captain Haddock and the Thompson Twins. Leave aside your sophisticated Dashiell Hammett-fed expectations for a moment. If you let yourself go, you will be transported, and quite entertained. Hitchcock never meshed comedy so thoroughly in the body of a story as he does here. Even "North By Northwest" has its serious spots, but "The Lady Vanishes" features a tense fight in a baggage car that's right out of Abbott & Costello and a climactic shootout that pauses for jokes between Caldicott and Charters, the cricket-mad pair who are a non-stop font of humor.

Margaret Lockwood is an effective plot vehicle as doughty Iris, who refuses to believe a knock on the head made her imagine the presence of the title character, Miss Froy. Michael Redgrave (Vanessa's pop) is a revelation as Gilbert, the folk-music scholar who half-humors, half-believes her strange tale until a stray scrap of trash converts him to her cause. He has a wonderful Errol Flynn-like quality, with his toothbrush mustache and his way with a quip.

Speaking of quips, the dialogue in this movie sparkles throughout, as when the barrister tells his mistress "The law, like Caesar's wife, must be above reproach," and she replies "Even when the law just spent six weeks with Caesar's wife?" Or when Iris asks how she was supposed to have replaced Miss Froy's face with that of the sinister Madame Kummer, and Gilbert replies: "Any change would be an improvement."

Interesting also for the opening, which ambles on for about 20 minutes before it starts to go anywhere, establishing the characters and the comic tone without offering a whiff of what the mystery might be. The close, too, with villains who seem oddly detached once the story is resolved ('Jolly good luck to them,' Paul Lukas observes enigmatically.) But that's for film scholars to muse over.

Hitchcock was never as agreeable a companion as he was here. And few films will put the kind of smile on your face like 'The Lady Vanishes,' no matter how long ago it was made.

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I am still in shock - of how boring this movie is PiranianRose
Is horrid model shot charming or embarrassing? filmfancritic
Other train movies? oana5874
Questions about trains in UK mickeyone
Two twits in bed together jawebster2000
That melody practicepiano
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