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The Lady Vanishes: The Criterion Collection

Margaret Lockwood , Michael Redgrave , Alfred Hitchcock    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

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 honor goes to Jamaica Inn), many critics prefer to think of this as his fond farewell to the British Film Industry. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

In this best-loved of Hitchcock's British-made thrillers, a young woman on a train meets a charming old lady (Dame May Whitty), who promptly disappears. The other passengers deny ever having seen her, leading the young woman to suspect a conspiracy. When she begins investigating, she is drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She vanishes Feb. 22 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Lady Vanishes: 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Flat Foot Floozy with a Froy-Froy Oct. 6 2013
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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4.0 out of 5 stars All aboard for fun Aug. 14 2009
By Kona TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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4.0 out of 5 stars I know she was here Aug. 29 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT BAD
The quality is quite good but it is probably not possible to improve them any more than this. These movies are a little too old for me. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2011 by Movie Nut
1.0 out of 5 stars Disc wouldn't play
This was a waste of money. The disk would not play on any machine. Don't buy this
Published on Oct. 30 2009 by Simon Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Budget Release Meets/Exceeds Expectations
First the usual warnings: caveat emptor, you get what you pay for, etc. etc. etc., yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah. Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by C. T. Mikesell
4.0 out of 5 stars No "North by Northwest," but good early Hitchcock
This is early Hitchcock and you can see the talent that was already there. He made this story into a great suspense film, even though there were quite a few implausibilities. Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars a great release for Criterion and one of Hitchcock's best !
The Lady vanishes is one of my most favorite Hitchcock films.
In it a young British woman meets an older Biritsh woman on a train in continental Europe. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2004 by Ted
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, decent transfer, weak on the extras
One of Hitchcock's early classics, The Lady Vanishes looks pretty good on this Criterion transfer. Although it isn't up to Spellbound, Notorious or The 39 Steps in picture quality... Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Wayne Klein
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, disappointing transfer!
This is one of my favorite Hitchcock movies, along with "The 39 Steps". After purchasing the Criterion Collection version of the latter movie, I was completely impressed with the... Read more
Published on July 12 2003 by Floyd E. ****
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Witty Suspense!
An avalanche has delayed a trans-European train in a nameless village in an eastern European country some time before World War II. Read more
Published on April 20 2003 by Kim Anehall
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