Lady Vanishes, The (1938)

August 24th, 2007 by exolstice

Lady Vanishes

First of all, let me explain how I came to be introduced to this movie. I bought it a few years ago on Criterion DVD (pretentious I know!) it came in a 5-pack of Hitchcock movies. None of which I’d seen, but I knew that three of them were going out of print (but not the Lady Vanishes). You see my plan was to buy them and then sell them on eBay after they went out of print, to make a quick buck. Well here I am a few years later, and I still haven’t sold any of them (and won’t). I’m a little older, a little wiser, and now somewhat of a film snob (but not really). You see the mistake I made was to watch the movies before trying to sell them. I enjoyed the hell out of all of them, especially the Lady Vanishes.
So what’s it about? Basically, it takes place on a train, where a young woman meets an old lady and they form this sort of traveller’s friendship. They both share a train car with two other people. At some point the woman falls asleep and when she wakes the lady is gone, vanished! Well if you’ve seen the recent Jodie Foster film “Flightplan” (an uncredited remake, to my knowledge) you’ll know most of what happens next. The young woman searches for her old lady friend, but no one seems to remember her ever being on board. I won’t spoil the rest, but there’s quite a few twists and turns.

Now here’s why I enjoyed this movie so much. It’s bloody hilarious, but not unintentionally hilarious. No, these are jokes written over seventy years ago, that to my surprise made me laugh out loud. Even more surprising, since I wasn’t expecting that sort of thing from an old Hitchcock movie that I’d never even heard of before buying. The movie is filled with great characters, and most notably, a couple of (gay?) British gentlemen who seem more preoccupied about the latest cricket scores than about the drama unfolding around them.

This movie is great fun, and it deserves to be checked out.

Posted in Movie Reviews

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