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The Lady Vanishes (1938)

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While traveling 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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3,157 ( 1,114)
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. 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 whom she had a not so pleasant encounter at the inn the evening ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Spies! Playing the game of love - and sudden death! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

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 »

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

Not only acts Madame Kummer as the substitute for Miss Froy, their names are also opposites. Froy rhyming with 'joy' as she herself notes and Kummer being the German word for 'sadness'. See more »

Goofs

During the club car scene where Dr. Hartz tries to get Gilbert and Iris to drink drugged brandies, the amount of brandy in the snifters varies from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

Gilbert: Come on, sit down, take it easy. What's the trouble?
Iris Henderson: If you must know, something fell on my head.
Gilbert: When, infancy?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spin-off Night Train to Munich (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An Early Hitchcock Classic
21 May 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Although Hitchcock was noted for his wit and often sprinkled his films with wickedly funny moments, he seldom gave comic elements such a free reign as he did in THE LADY VANISHES, which is among the most memorable of his early British films. Charmingly cast with Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, and Dame May Witty in the leads, the extremely witty script mixes 1930s romantic froth with increasingly tense suspense in the story of sharp witted young woman (Lockwood) who befriends an elderly lady (Witty) during a train journey--and is extremely disturbed when, as the title states, the lady vanishes.

Many regard this as the best of Hitchcock's early work, and it is easy to see why: the film demonstrates his growing talent for building suspense from an unlikely mix of the commonplace and the incredible. He is also remarkably blessed in his cast, with Lockwood and Redgrave possessing considerable chemistry and Dame May Witty particularly endearing in one of the character roles at which she so excelled; the supporting cast is also particularly memorable.

Hitchcock guides them all with never a misstep through a complex script that progresses from very lighthearted to extremely sinister and then back again, and the result leaves audiences with both the satisfaction of a well-made thriller and the glow of a romantic comedy. Although it lacks the subtle tones of his later work, THE LADY VANISHES is among my own favorites by Hitchcock, and fans who have never seen it are in for a real treat. Highly recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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