7.8/10
46,301
228 user 104 critic

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | | 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
4,910 ( 1,652)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Lockwood ... Iris Matilda Henderson
Michael Redgrave ... Gilbert Redman
Paul Lukas ... Dr. Egon 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 Athona
Emile Boreo Emile Boreo ... Hotel Manager
Googie Withers ... Blanche
Sally Stewart Sally Stewart ... Julie
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 »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

Two or three shots after Miss Froy writes her name on the window the writing is not only different, but in a different place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Caldicott: What's all this fuss about, Charters?
Charters: Damned if l know.
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 The Thirteenth Floor (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
One of Hitchcock's Best!
30 December 2006 | by bsmith5552See all my reviews

"The Lady Vanishes" is one of Director Alfred Hitchcock's best British made films, in fact I think it's one of his all time best.

Set in pre-WWII somewhere in Europe, A group of people board a train bound for England after having spent the previous night in an overcrowded hotel. Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) befriends a kindly old governess/teacher, Miss Froy (Dame May Witty). When Iris is struck by a falling flowerpot, Miss Froy promises to take care of her as they board the train.

After having tea together, the two women return to their compartment where Iris falls asleep. When she awakes, Miss Froy is gone, totally vanished. The people sharing the compartment, "The Baroness" (Mary Clare), Signor and Signora Doppo (Philip Leaver, Selma Van Dias) deny ever having seen Miss Froy. Doctor Hartz (Paul Lukas) comes to her aid and is convinced that the bump Iris received to her head may have caused a memory lapse.

Iris then meets Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) whom she had met the previous evening at the hotel. He offers his help. Skeptical at first, he soon comes to believe Iris' story. Eric Todhunter (Cecil Parker) and "Mrs." Todhunter (Linden Travers) deny seeing Miss Froy because they are in the midst of an extra marital affair. Two British "gentlemen", Caldicott (Naughton Wayne) and Charters (Basil Radford) though having seen Miss Froy with Iris, don't wish to become involved.

When Dr. Hartz brings a patient aboard the train, Gilbert and Iris become suspicious and.......................................

As was his custom, Hitchcock pits his heroine against all odds in her quest to find Miss Froy. The suspense builds as the situation becomes more hopeless. This would be a theme that the master of suspense would use throughout his career. He also liked to work trains into many of his plots, including this film of which three quarters takes place on board a train.

The scene in the hotel showing Caldicott and Charters sharing a bed (and a pair of pajamas) never would have gotten by the American censors. The relationship between the Todhunters as well, was quite obvious and rare for the American cinema of the day.

This is one of Hitchcock's best films and hasn't suffered because of age. Highly recommended.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »
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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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