Returning home from the Balkans in the 1930s Iris Carr boards a train with fellow Brits the elderly Floodporter sisters,brusque vicar Barnes and his fretful wife and a reticent couple who are plainly having an affair. After a blow on the head Iris is befriended by brisk Miss Froy,former governess to a family headed by a chilly baroness travelling with her poorly sister and medical staff. When Miss Froy disappears everybody denies ever seeing her,claiming Iris is hallucinating after the knock to the head. Only language student Max Hare is sympathetic and even he has his doubts when a German woman is produced and passed off as the missing lady. Max even unwittingly becomes part of the plot to dissuade Iris from her search for the truth but is eventually swayed by her persistence and helps her solve the mystery of her friend's disappearance. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Let's make one thing clear: you can't know what you're talking about for sure when reviewing this film unless you read Ethel White's Book "The Wheel Spins" first and then watch the Hitchcock and then the 2013 adaptation. You'll see that Hitch wrenched the book out of its frame, turning it into frothy comedy when it's really a nightmarish psychological thriller. I understand producers using his title since it's so famous, but that sets up a comparison that shouldn't be made until you compare each version to the novel. I find the Hitchcock movie risible, a Marx Brothers spy farce that uses names and some bits of plot from the novel but churns it into something profoundly unappetizing. The 2013 "version" is, however, delectable, setting the stage for Iris Carr's plunge into nightmare, prefigured by her fall and isolation in the hills. She's rude and rebarbative at the hotel and regrets that when she needs people's help. It all works beautifully and deftly. I'd see it again, but as the saying goes, you could not pay me to watch Hitchcock's farrago another time.
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