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The Lady Vanishes

Now Playing 1h 37m Mystery & Thriller List
98% Tomatometer 51 Reviews 88% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings
On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris (Margaret Lockwood) befriends elderly Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler (Michael Redgrave) and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly. Read More Read Less
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The Lady Vanishes

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Critics Consensus

One of Alfred Hitchcock's last British films, this glamorous thriller provides an early glimpse of the director at his most stylishly entertaining.

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Critics Reviews

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Otis Ferguson The New Republic More than any of the English-speaking film men, Hitchcock is a one-man show, getting every detail straight in his head and the way he wants it before the first camera starts rolling. Dec 26, 2023 Full Review Wendy Ide Times (UK) An enjoyable mystery... Oct 10, 2022 Full Review John C. Mosher New Yorker As full of surprises, horrors, thrills, even humor, as the other Hitchcock productions. Aug 11, 2022 Full Review Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand Hitchcock effortlessly navigates this vivid thriller from light comedy to high tension and back again, creating one of his most enchanting and entertaining mysteries. Aug 19, 2023 Full Review Kristin Battestella InSession Film Train whistles pepper the constant travel hum, rail montages, rear projection, and black and white photography – keeping the confined setting fittingly well paced with perilous comings and goings between cars. Jul 25, 2023 Full Review Roger Moore Movie Nation It's all a lark and all good, clean (ish) fun, sort of a British take on the "screwball" farces common in Hollywood in the '30s, with Hitchcockian mystery and villainy. Rated: 3/4 Apr 29, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Tom F Hitchcock was hitting his stride as a highly prolific director in 1938, and this is mostly interesting as part of his filmography. To modern eyes this seems like a frivolous mess, but it’s interesting to see how Hitchcock assembles the story and sets the stage. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 06/01/24 Full Review Russ The first act is pure balderdash but it "picks up steam" once Miss Froy "vanishes" - up to that point we don't know who the lady in question is. We have the usual "McGuffin" - a throw-away plot device meant to justify all the goings on. I give "props" to the model makers, set decorators, and special effects folks who did what they could given the technical limitations of the day and the budget. The opening shots of the miniature village are remarkably detailed, even if some suspension of disbelief is required. Overall it's another example of why Hollywood lured Sir Alfred away from our cousins across the Pond. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/13/24 Full Review Jeff M This is certainly my least favorite of the Alfred Hitchcock movies that I have seen so far. It's all the more disappointing because this is one of the Hitchcok films I was most anxious to see. So much of what I found missing in this motion picture is what I appreciate so much in his others. There is no suspense or sense of danger here - it frankly plays like an average Agatha Christie adaptation, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS being the obvious example since both take place on trains. The lack of character development made it difficult to follow the plot at times, and the accents and rapidity of dialogue pretty much require subtitles (although I have subtitles turned on all the time). Nothing here seemed to grab me, and it's the first Hitchcock film I've watched that left me a bit bored. Acting is fine if nothing outstanding. Suffice it to say, this won't be listed on MY TOP FIVE when we do Hitchcock movies. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/24 Full Review harwee h Up there amongst the best of Hitchcock films. A must watch for genre and classic fans. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 12/25/23 Full Review nick s Very well acted. The leads and the English gentlemen were great. Especially enjoyed the opening. It did get a bit campy and over the top as it went on. Also used a couple of tropes and clichés for plot devices that were popular at the time. But overall great entertainment. Nice to see the lead female getting involved in the fight scene... usually in film noir they stand back and watch. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 11/22/23 Full Review Del H Peak Hitchcock. Absolutely charming lead performances by Redgrave and Lockwood, plus a train where all is not as it appears to be. Old movies at their best! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 10/16/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Movie Info

Synopsis On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris (Margaret Lockwood) befriends elderly Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler (Michael Redgrave) and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly.
Director
Alfred Hitchcock
Producer
Edward Black
Screenwriter
Ethel Lina White, Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder
Distributor
Criterion Collection, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp., Gaumont British Distributors
Production Co
Gainsborough Pictures
Genre
Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
British English
Release Date (Theaters)
Nov 1, 1938, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Aug 8, 2015
Runtime
1h 37m
Sound Mix
Mono
Aspect Ratio
35mm
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