The Lady Vanishes

An elderly English governess, homeward bound, disappears from a transcontinental train, and a young girl, who says she recently received a blow on the head, is confronted by numerous other passengers who say they never saw the governess. This becomes so persistent the girl finally thinks she has gone nuts.

With:
Margaret Lockwood Michael Redgrave Paul Lukas May Whitty Cecil Parker Linden Travers

An elderly English governess, homeward bound, disappears from a transcontinental train, and a young girl, who says she recently received a blow on the head, is confronted by numerous other passengers who say they never saw the governess. This becomes so persistent the girl finally thinks she has gone nuts.

The story [from The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White] is sometimes eerie and eventually melodramatic, but it’s all so well done as to make for intense interest. It flits from one set of characters to another and becomes slightly difficult to follow, but finally all joins up.

This film, minus the deft and artistic handling of the director, Alfred Hitchcock, despite its cast and photography, would not stand up for Grade A candidacy. Margaret Lockwood is the central femme character; Michael Redgrave, as the lead, is a trifle too flippant. Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Paul Lukas (as a credibly villainous doctor), May Whitty, (as the governess) and Catherine Lacey (a villainess disguised as a nun) are excellent.

The Lady Vanishes

UK

Production: Gainsborough/Gaumont-British. Director Alfred Hitchcock; Producer [Edward Black]; Screenplay Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder; Camera Jack Cox; Editor R.E. Dearing; Music Louis Levy (dir.); Art Director Alex Vetchinsky

Crew: (B&W) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Margaret Lockwood Michael Redgrave Paul Lukas May Whitty Cecil Parker Linden Travers

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