Time: 95 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Being a big Hitchcock fan, I've been looking forward to watching this film, since it's considered one of the best he made before moving to America. I was not disappointed. Though not as polished as some of his later works the town and train set are obviously models the plot still kept me glued to my seat. Not only is it a wonderful film filled with suspense, it just wouldn't be Hitchcock without a liberal dose of comedy, romance and adventure thrown in. Though most of the action takes place on a train, the film never feels confined. In fact, it adds to the excitement. After all, how can someone disappear from a moving train? Though I was generally one step ahead of the characters in solving the mystery, I still enjoyed every minute of their sleuthing. Hitchcock gives the audience a perfectly silly reason for thinking Mrs. Froy (the lady who disappears) was done in, but I still believed it anyway. That's why he's the master. You just assume it's going to be explained later on. It's only when the film is over you realize it's the MacGuffen.
THE LADY VANISHES starts out kind of slowly, opening in a small European hotel filled with travelers stranded until the next train arrives the following morning. All are on their way back to England, which is on the brink of WWII. As the evening progresses, you meet the cast of characters Iris Henderson (Lockwood), a pretty English girl returning to London to marry a man she doesn't love; Mrs. Froy (Whitty), an elderly governess; Gilbert Redman (Redgrave), a saucy musician who's writing a book about ancient folk dances; Mr. and "Mrs." Todhunter (Parker & Travers), an adulterous couple posing as honeymooners; and Caldicott (Wayne) and Charters (Radford), two die-hard cricket fans who are desperate to get back to Manchester for the big game. Iris and Mrs. Froy meet in the hallway after being awakened by a horrible stomping noise coming from the room above them caused by Gilbery. Iris tries to have him thrown out, but he retaliates by planting himself in her room and threatening to tell everyone she invited him in. In an effort to avert scandal, she gets him his room back.