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Lady Vanishes [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Margaret Lockwood is the vulnerable central heroine, to whom things happen purely by accident. She is the "Did I/Didn't I" witness to the abduction of the apparently harmless old lady Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty), and goes through quite a substantial amount of self-doubt before becoming sure of what she saw.
Stiff upper lipped Michael Redgrave provides an excellent (and amusing) shoulder to cry on, before the whole plot is revealed and turns into a shootout between secret agents.
Whitty is excellent as the frail (but secretly hard as nails) Miss Froy, and Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne are rightly vaunted as the "couldn't give a stuff" double-act of Charters and Cauldicott.
Excellent, sexy, thrilling, droll English Hitch. You can forget later versions of this film, they just don't cut it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very dated but brilliant little Hitchcock classic, with a mystery on a train travelling across Europe, with deceit, fun and action right up to the end. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Josh
There have been several film and TV versions of "The Lady Vanishes" and in my opinion this is the best. Read morePublished 8 months ago by George Hulme