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Lady Vanishes [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Lady Vanishes [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + The 39 Steps [DVD][1939 version starring Robert Donat]
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Product details

  • Actors: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Ethel Lina White, Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat
  • Producers: Edward Black
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Tgg Direct
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jan 2003
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BI9E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,925 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

At first glance The Lady Vanishes appears to be a frothy, lightweight treat; a testament to Alfred Hitchcock's nimble touch. This snappy, sophisticated romantic thriller begins innocently enough, as a contingent of eccentric tourists spend the night in a picture-postcard village inn nestled in the Swiss Alps before setting off on the train the next morning. In a wonderfully Hitchcockian twist, on meeting, cute, attractive young Iris (Margaret Lockwood) clashes with brash music student Gilbert (Michael Redgrave) when his nocturnal concerts give her no peace. She gets him kicked out of his room, so he barges in on hers. True love is inevitable, but not before they are both plunged into an international conspiracy. The next day on the train, kindly old Mrs Froy (Dame May Whitty) vanishes from her train car without a trace and the once quarrelsome couple unite to search the train and uncover a dastardly plot. No one is as he or she seems, but sorting out the villains from the merely mysterious is a challenge in itself, as our innocents abroad face resistance from the entire passenger list.

Hitchcock effortlessly navigates this vivid thriller from light comedy to high tension and back again, creating one of his most enchanting and entertaining mysteries. Though this wasn't his final British film before departing for Hollywood (that honour goes to Jamaica Inn), many critics prefer to think of this as his fond farewell to the British Film Industry. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By IWFIcon VINE VOICE on 16 Aug 2008
Format: DVD
Many films since have tried to make hay out of a similar concept, just how can a woman go missing from a moving train without anyone seemingly having seen her, but none have ever made for a movie quite as good as this genuine classic from 1938.

Of course the audience knows that Miss Foy, a delightful turn from Dame May Whitty, was on the train and we soon learn the reasons why the other passengers don't believe, or won't back up, Iris Henderson (another great turn from Margaret Lockwood) when she insists that the old woman has, well, vanished. Two bumbling Englishmen don't want to miss the test cricket, a lawyer doesn't get involved because he's in the middle of an illicit romantic affair.

When it was remade in 1979, badly, the action almost immediately cut to everyone meeting on the train; here almost 20 minutes elapses before we get to that point and the time invested at the beginning in this filling out of the story pays off superbly when the crunch comes further down the line giving the viewer a greater, and more logical, insight into the intimacy that has developed between the characters.

Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave share a flirtatious rapport and the humour in the film is charming in the extreme. Throw in a little pre-war propaganda (although on this note, its interesting to watch the bumbling Englishmen of Charters & Coldicutt) and you have an admittedly light concoction, but one that is perfectly assembled. And as numerous subsequent attempts along the same lines have proved, it's impossible to improve on perfection.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Sep 2003
Format: DVD
This is one of the greatest comedy mysteries of all time and if you haven't seen it yet then your film education is sadly remiss. The script is witty and clever, the acting has just the right lightness of touch for this genre and Hitchcock's direction is as masterful as ever. And what's more - this time Carlton have produced a fantastic print of the film: it looks gorgeous!! And this gives really added value to what is already a smashing film. As I noted in a previous review, the old Cinema Classics DVD print was shameful - but I have to give credit here where it is due; this is excellent. Well done Carlton. Great film, beautifully reproduced. This is a perfect film for a cold winter's afternoon in front of the fire. Buy it now.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N. Stinchcombe on 1 Jan 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Since Hitchcock's classic 1938 film is now in the public domain there are some dodgy DVD releases available - all of them on sale to unwary customers on Amazon. Some have been mastered from poor quality prints, while at least one release has (sacrilegiously!) edited the film to cut out all references to cricket so as not to bewilder American viewers. The latter move destroys one of the best running gags in the film done with deadpan seriousness by the comic double act of Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford. Rest assured this edition issued by ITV Studios (the names of Carlton and the Rank Organisation appear on the rear of the DVD) comes in a very good quality print and not a second has been shaved off the running time of this delightful comedy-drama.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Oct 2001
Format: DVD
This is one of the greatest comedy mysteries of all time and if you haven't seen it yet then your film education is sadly remiss. The script is witty and clever, the acting has just the right lightness of touch for this genre and Hitchcock's direction is as masterful as ever. However this Cinema Club DVD version is appalling: the sound is lousy and the print is a disgrace - there is even a dirty great scratch all the way down the right hand side of the print for all of the last reel! Why bother doing a DVD transfer when they are not prepared to do some work on the film to make it look and sound as good as possible? The publishers should hang their heads in shame. This is a 5 star film on a no star print. An insult.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Johnnybluetime VINE VOICE on 8 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For me this is one of Hitchcock's, and therefore cinema's, very best films and Criterion have done a great job here because this could easily be shown at the cinema today.The print to my eyes is generally flawless.The sound is very good too and I'd say that overall this is well worth paying the extra money for.

The second disc contains,amongst other things,an engrossing documentary,and a Charters and Caldicott adventure, Crook's Tour.It's set in the Middle East,but it suffers badly from being very studio bound and without Hitchcock's flair the characters to me lose a good deal of their lustre.I watched 15 minutes and then gave up and put the disc away for another day.Even so, it does give some added value and takes some of the sting out of paying fifteen quid for a 70 year old film,even if it is a classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Aug 2009
Format: DVD
Spunky Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) boards a train in Eastern Europe on her way to be married in England. Aboard are a colorful assortment of characters including two cricket-obsessed eccentrics, a suspicious couple having an illicit affair, and a rather scary magician. One bright note is an elderly governess, Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) whom Iris befriends. As the trip gets underway, the old lady promptly disappears and no one seems to have seen her except Iris, who did suffer a bop on the head earlier and may have imagined her.

While the basic plot is a lot like Flightplan, this 1938 Alfred Hitchcock suspense story is full of comedic touches. The quirky characters are well-developed and appropriately silly or menacing and I was kept interested and guessing until the end. Lockwood is quite likeable as the spirited heroine and Michael Redgrave is fun as her joking yet sympathetic new friend.

The movie loses a star because model trains and bad indoor-for-outdoor sets are obviously used and in a shootout, two pistols hold at least a hundred bullets. But the overall mood is exciting as well as playful; indeed, this is a good mystery that doesn't take itself too seriously. Recommended.
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