Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Hitchcock: The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Representing one of the very last, and the very best, films that Hitchcock made in England before making the big leap across the pond to Hollywood, The Lady Vanishes falls into Hitchcock's "pre-war warning films."  Along with being an espionage thriller, it is also just a bloody good mystery, with a few comedic notes sprinkled in.  The entire film is set on a train traveling across Continental Europe, "the lady" in question is an elderly lady who says that she is a governess, traveling on the train with all sorts from far flung regions of Europe, including two young Brits, 1 a young woman and 1 young man, who do not know each other before embarking on the train.  They are soon thrown together when inexplicably the lady vanishes after having tea with the young British woman.  When she goes to look for the governess, everyone on board act as if they have never seen the old lady--even to the point of trying to convince her that she is delusional and she only imagined having tea with "the lady."  She soon meets up with Gilbert (played by the late great Michael Redgrave of the famed family) who reluctantly believes her....then the search ensues as the train steams closer and closer to Nazi occupied territory.

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