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The Lady Vanishes: The Criterion Collection


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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, DVD-Video, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paradox
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780020723
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,622 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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4.1 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2007
Format: DVD
Alfred Hitchcock wasn't too good at straight-out comedy, which he only did once. But he was absolutely brilliant at clever, witty thrillers, one of the earliest of which is "The Lady Vanishes." While it has some major plot holes, Hitchcock makes up for those with witty dialogue and solid acting.

Iris (Margaret Lockwood) is having a last girl's-night-out with her best friends, at a small Alpine hotel. As she's leaving on the train, she befriends a kindly little old governess (Dame May Whitty) -- who vanishes while Iris is napping. Even worse, everyone denies that the old lady existed, making Iris wonder if she imagined the whole thing.

She enlists the help of eccentric musician Gilbert (Michael Redgrave) to help her find the old lady, once they are both convinced that the lady existed. Now the pair must go through the train in search of the old lady -- but they never expected to uncover an international conspiracy, which could leave them all dead.

"The Lady Vanishes" was a pretty early movie of Hitchcock's, and at the end we're left wondering about several oddities in the plot (how is an eighty-year-old lady so athletic? How inept can those foreign agents BE?). As a spy thriller it's flawed but passable... but it's very good as a comedic mystery.

Hitchcock takes his time introducing us to these characters, by having them all bunk at one overcrowded hotel. One particularly funny scene has Gilbert invading Iris's suite, after she has him ejected from his room, and strewing his things all over as she orders him to leave. But Hitchcock also captures the claustrophobic feeling of being menaced on a train.
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By J. M. Arnold on Nov. 26 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have seen many versions of The Lady Vanishes ,but this version by Alfred Hitchcock's is the best, I am so pleased to have it in my collection. Joan A
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By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 6 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Oops a "Freudian slip." Reference to a song that came out in the same year as the movie.

This Hitchcock movie is based on the book "The Wheel Spins", by Ethel Lina White. It is fun to read the base story to compare to the movie.

One may complain or praise the presentation media yet the bottom line is that once you start to watch the movie that all becomes secondary to the story and the acting.

I will not go through the whole story as the fun is watching it unfold or maybe not unfold fast enough. I think that is called suspense.

Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) a vacationer is stuck in a hotel waiting for a train that is blocked by an avalanche. There she forms an adversarial friendship with a traveling musician (Michael Redgrave.)

When the train finally gets underway Iris who is hit on the heads by an accident is being looked after by Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). When Miss Froy goes missing on a moving train, nobody remembers her ever being there. Dr. Hartz (Paul Lukas) explains that with a bump on the head you can imagine all kinds of people. Gilbert her new musician friend tries to placate her and he may be her only link to sanity as he helps her in her search for the missing Mrs. Fry.

We to are sure that there is a Mrs. Froy and take part in the search.
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By Kona TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 14 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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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Aug. 29 2007
Format: DVD
Alfred Hitchcock wasn't too good at straight-out comedy, which he only did once that I can remember. But he was absolutely brilliant at clever, witty thrillers -- mystery with a comic edge. One of the earliest he created was "The Lady Vanishes." While it has some major plot holes, Hitchcock makes up for those with witty dialogue and solid acting.

Iris (Margaret Lockwood) is having a last girl's-night-out with her best friends, at a small Alpine hotel, only days before her wedding to a stuffy arisocrat. As she's leaving on the train, she befriends a kindly little old governess (Dame May Whitty) -- who vanishes while Iris is napping. Even worse, everyone denies that the old lady existed, making Iris wonder if she imagined the whole thing (due to a blow on the head).

She enlists the help of eccentric musician Gilbert (Michael Redgrave) to help her find the old lady, once they are both convinced that the lady existed and that all the people who deny she was there are lying. Now the pair must go through the train in search of the woman -- but they never expected to uncover an international conspiracy and a bevy of German spies.

"The Lady Vanishes" was a pretty early movie of Hitchcock's, and at the end we're left wondering about several oddities in the plot (how is an eighty-year-old lady so athletic? How inept can those foreign agents BE?). As a spy thriller, it's enjoyable but too riddled with plot holes... but it's very good as a comedic mystery.

Hitchcock takes his time introducing us to these characters, by having them all bunk at one overcrowded hotel, and sprinkles it with clues that all is not as idyllic as it seems.
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