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Returning home from the Balkans during the 1930s, Iris Carr boards a train. After a blow to the head Iris, is befriended by a Miss Froy - former governess to a family headed by a baroness travelling with her poorly sister and medical staff. When Miss Froy disappears everybody denies ever seeing her,claiming Iris mustve imagined Miss Froy, after the knock to the head. Only language student Max Hare is sympathetic and even he has doubts. When a German woman is produced and passed off as the missing lady, Max unwittingly becomes part of the plot to dissuade Iris from her search for the truth. Written by
don @ minifie-1
By calling this PBS program "The Lady Vanishes," one believes he or she will see a remake of the Hitchcock film of the same name.
However, that's not the case. Alfred Hitchcock was notorious for purchasing a book to make a film and then using a section or even a paragraph from it and building the story around it.
Hitchcock's source material was a novel called "The Wheel Spins" by Ethel Linna White, and this is an adaptation of that, which only bears a passing resemblance to "The Lady Vanishes." An elderly British woman who befriends a younger woman seems to disappear from a train, but no one can remember seeing her in the first place.
The young woman in this case has the same name as the early film, Iris Carr, and here she's played by Tuppence Middleton. She's a playgirl, with plenty of money and drunken friends, and they've all made a spectacle of themselves at the hotel where they stayed in Croatia. Iris becomes ill, supposedly of sunstroke, and nearly misses her train.
When she boards the train, she finds that not many people speak English, and it seems like an awful lot of the people from the hotel are on it. Still not feeling well, she is befriended by a Miss Froy who takes tea with her. Iris falls asleep, and when she wakes up, Miss Froy is gone. She seems to have disappeared off of a moving train. A handsome young man, Max Hare (Tom Hughes) befriends her and tries to help. But it starts to seem to him and to others that Ms. Carr is off her nut.
The film started slowly, and for this, I blame the leading woman and the direction she received. She comes off as extremely unpleasant and bratty, and by the time she's plowed into the twelfth person without saying 'excuse me,' your interest is just about lost. Once other characters enter into the story, it picks up.
It was great to see MI-5's Keeley Hawes, almost unrecognizable in a black wig, as a woman having a liaison with, of all people, Julian Rhind-Tutt playing a proper Englishman. In his younger days, with his unusual face he always played wild men, sporting long red hair and using his comic timing to perfection. Here, his hair is short and he is quite distinguished as a somewhat frosty Englishman.
I was a little disappointed. I wanted it to be better.
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