This review relates to the UK blu ray release by Network in 2015 of the 1930s Alfred Hitchcock film, and to no other version.
If you are looking for the blu ray version you are likely to have already seen and enjoyed this classic British thriller. For those who haven't, I recommend you watch it - it really is a gem. Funny, intriguing, exciting, and the writing is sharp as a tack, with a superb cast and a truly great director. For those who have and want to know if the blu ray upgrade is worth the cost - 100% yes. The picture quality is first rate, beautifully clear, and in a film where a good deal hinges on small details it is nice to be able to make them out properly at last. I had the dvd version and it still had visible damage, but this has no problems at all; it looks like it was released yesterday. Oddly enough the picture improvement does not have a negative impact on most of the model shots (I have found blu ray to be terribly unkind to outdated effects), though some of the back projection work looks very obvious.
As for the sound, it isn't Dolby stereo, but a lot of hiss and crackle has been eliminated. They have made a nice job of the restoration all round, in fact. There are not a lot of extras, just a trailer, a gallery, and an introduction by a film historian, but all three are pretty interesting (I suggest you watch the introduction after the film rather than before). There is PDF material according to the case notes but I played this on a blu ray player which can recognise that so I can't comment on what that might be like. The box is what seems to be Network standard issue, which is a lot thinner than the usual case; all to the good if space for your collection is at as much of a premium as it is for me. The insert sleeve has the film poster on the inside, too, which is rather nice. All round, definitely a good buy.
This is a review of the recent Blu Ray release of The Lady Vanishes from Network. As they did with The Man Who Knew Too Much Network have once agin done a sterling job restoring this old gem onto Blu Ray. The picture is the correct ratio and has a fantastic picture for its age. There's no noticeable digital noise reduction so what you get is an untampered but restored image. Another reviewer does mention visible grain, but that's a good sign as it means there's been no digital reduction processing which can ruin the look of an old film. The sound is again very clear and crisp. It's well worth the upgrade from DVD.
The Lady Vanishes is one of Hitchcock's British masterpieces and stands the test of time as a wonderful piece of filmmaking. Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood have great chemistry (ala The 39 Steps Donat and Carroll) and the film is a masterclass in the suspenseful thriller.
on 7 February 2015
This transfer to Blu-ray is a long time coming, when the original is all on black & white film, you want to see the very best & almost transport yourself back into a theatre atmosphere to re-imagine what it was like to see this film originally on release. There's a very good extra about the 'political' metaphors leading up to the second world war intrigue & although the presenter looks like a throw back to all those intellectual Open University lecturers on the BBC overnights, it was informative & showed how important such films as The Lady Vanishes were in enlightening public complacency before overtly aggressive governments. There's some craft models & handmade scenery scenes that look awe inspiring, they are so well made & offer a rare insight into these early film set making skills by the studio technicians. The stills gallery was a bit random & did not add too much to what we see in the film, though the early film posters were good, not sure why we need stills from the film though? there must have been better set photographs available of the production team on set.
on 23 January 2015
This review is for the UK 2015 blu-ray edition.
To be honest I was a little disappointed by this Blu-ray transfer at first, but have changed my opinion thanks to the comments below. Some more extras features would have been nice but the film is a ***** classic, probably my all time favourite!