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The Lady Vanishes [DVD]

Margaret Lockwood , Michael Redgrave , Alfred Hitchcock    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
Price: £12.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Lady Vanishes [DVD] + 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: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004S8IM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,853 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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

Product Description

DVD Special Features: Interactive menus Scene Index

Language: English, Dolby Digital Subtitles: English for the hard of hearing Video aspect ratio: Feature - 4:3

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic by any definition 16 Aug 2008
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
5.0 out of 5 stars They've finally got it right!! 16 Sep 2003
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ITV STUDIOS RELEASE IS THE THE DVD TO BUY 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
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Film - Awful Print 9 Oct 2001
By A Customer
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All aboard for fun 15 Aug 2009
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great print of a great film. 8 April 2008
By Johnnybluetime VINE VOICE
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as some films of this title but it is ...
Not as good as some films of this title but it is the original Hitchcock classic, that makes it a must have for me
Published 14 days ago by Maurice C
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and amazing! x
Brilliant film! Both the plot and the actors are brilliant in this film. It holds suspense and drama and has an ending that was hard to work out. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Imogen Stubbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As described; prompt receipt; value for money; 5 plus stars. Would use seller again without hesitation.
Published 26 days ago by Jasbinder Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
An all time classic. Great casting and great suspense. Thoroughly enjoyable
Published 1 month ago by Mr. A. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by mr a w golding
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitrchcock clasxic
A Hitchcock classic, well acted, lots of twists and turns but still lots of comedy to make the time fly by as you watch it. Especially good to watch on a wet Sunday afternoon.
Published 2 months ago by Jill Brewer
5.0 out of 5 stars a class act
The Lady Vanishes is one of Hitchcock's lightest and most successful capers. It is packed full of incident and strings you along as if the train (on which most of it takes place)... Read more
Published 2 months ago by schumann_bg
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspence and intrigue throughout.
This version, in my opinion that is, is by far the best. Again, directed by the master of suspence himself. Read more
Published 5 months ago by TIV
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lady Vanishes
Three cheers for Hitchcock. You can't get better. Superbly crafted story and brilliantly filmed. Many a pleasant hours' entertainment for sure.
Published 5 months ago by patrickmrchips
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful brilliant
Very good film just like all of his films. Margaret Lockwood was brilliant once again in her role.First class movie.
Published 6 months ago by mrs linda c richardson
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