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The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller | 1 November 1938 (USA)
Trailer
1:22 | Trailer
While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Ethel Lina White (based upon the story by: "The Wheel Spins"), Sidney Gilliat (screen play) (as Sidney Gilliatt) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Lockwood ... Iris Henderson
Michael Redgrave ... Gilbert
Paul Lukas ... Dr. Hartz
May Whitty ... Miss Froy (as Dame May Whitty)
Cecil Parker ... Mr. Todhunter
Linden Travers ... 'Mrs.' Todhunter
Naunton Wayne ... Caldicott
Basil Radford ... Charters
Mary Clare ... Baroness
Emile Boreo Emile Boreo ... Hotel Manager
Googie Withers ... Blanche
Sally Stewart Sally Stewart ... Julie
Philip Leaver Philip Leaver ... Signor Doppo
Selma Vaz Dias Selma Vaz Dias ... Signora Doppo (as Zelma Vas Dias)
Catherine Lacey ... The Nun (as Catherine Lacy)
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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 (Dame May Whitty). Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood), 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 (Sir Michael Redgrave), a musicologist with ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Film That Made ALFRED HITCHCOCK Master of Suspense! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | French | Italian

Release Date:

1 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lost Lady See more »

Filming Locations:

Islington, London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,776
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic Film Full-Range Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Michael Redgrave went to Cambridge, just like his character, Gilbert. He was also a chorister and took singing lessons early on in his career, which gives more credibility to Gilbert's statement that he has "a powerful voice". See more »

Goofs

Just after the train starts out, we see it on a high bridge; behind the locomotive and tender are a van, four passenger cars, and another van. Just after the lady vanishes, an exterior view along the side of the train shows at least five passenger cars, and we were told that there have been no stops. See more »

Quotes

Iris Henderson: Was she hit?
Gilbert: I can't tell!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: The Characters in "THE LADY VANISHES" were played by: See more »

Alternate Versions

A brief segment where a hotel maid bends down to pick up a hat from under a hotel bed is missing from most US releases, including Criterion's first official DVD and all bootlegs. It's intact in all official non-US releases and has been restored for Criterion's 2-disc remastered DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in iZombie: Abra Cadaver (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Colonel Bogey March
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by Kenneth Alford
Hummed by Michael Redgrave
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Delightful, funny, mysterious, meticulously crafter Hitchcock!
13 October 2012 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

A Hitchcock movie filled with mystery but lacking suspense. Which is quite fine, turning "The Lady Vanishes" into a fun movie with lots of wry jokes and clever twists. You can't take it any more seriously than Hitchcock did, and he famously had fun with his ideas. That's one reason why they are recognizably Hitch.

This is a transitional movie for the director in many ways. For one thing it was hugely successful in Britain, and then later in the U.S., and Hitchcock soon moved to Hollywood where his stellar string of successes for over 20 years began. But that said, this is a film filled with provincial humor (that was a joke, in case you are British)--that is, you need to have a feel for British humor, and for the style of joking and making witty remarks (constantly) of the time. It's a hilarious movie. When you aren't laughing you're still tickled.

Which is what disappoints some viewers expecting "Psycho" or something. Nope. But you'll recognize the director's hand here, mixing regular people who are misunderstood (if not quite accused of something they didn't do) and who end up having to solve the problem themselves. And so it goes, and they do rather well for a couple of ordinary folk.

When I say there is no suspense I mean it, even when there is uncertainty. The biggest twist of the whole plot (not to be mentioned here!) is only kept from the viewer for a short while. Then the actors tell you! Yes, you are let in on the secret, and yet the movie goes on from there. That is--it's not about worrying and trying to figure it out. It's about watching the main characters work together and piece together their way out of a sticky situation. And of course eventually fall in love.

You forget sometimes that the key element in nearly every Hitchcock movie is a love story. After all, that's what matters to most of us (or all of us?) day after day, so he zeroes in on that even as the world is threatened by uranium 235 ("Notorious"), a murderer in the apartment complex ("Rear Window"), the ghost of a previous wife ("Rebecca") and so on. (Of these, "Psycho" is an interesting exception.) So watch what is actually a romantic comedy with a dash of international intrigue in the ominous year leading up to WWII, which hasn't happened at the time of filming. Great stuff.


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