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THE LADY VANISHES(1938)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Margaret Lockwood (Iris Henderson)
Michael Redgrave (Gilbert Redman)
Paul Lukas (Dr Egon Hartz)
Dame May Whitty (Miss Froy)
Running Length: Color; approx 112 minutes
MPAA Classification: R
Reviewed by Judith Fox
This is a delightful film of mystery and romantic comedy. Iím so pleased I decided to watch this one. It captured my heart. Itís one of my favourite. Alfred Hitchcock made it in England before he migrated to Hollywood.
In the first scene you see everything is a prop much like a stage set design. After those first seconds of realization you are carried away into the story beginning in a European ski chalet with plenty of snow and people.
The common Hitchcock plot applies: a man and woman develop a relationship while stuck in adversity together. All the suspects and the action are on a train travelling away from the snow capped mountains. Every character is charming, individualistic and really quite funny. So donít think itís dated because it was made in 1938. Oh why donít we have ones like this anymore? A lost art.
Basically, a young woman, Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) befriends an old woman, Miss Froy (Dame Mae Whitty) on a train. Then the old woman disappears and no one remembers her, except the young woman. Stubbornly, she refuses to be convinced otherwise. Her relationship with a young man, Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) is at first a constant fight. There is obvious chemistry between them and as they try to solve the mystery cupid hits them with the arrow and love blooms.
At the very beginning in the ski resort the film drags only slightly. However, when everyone gets on the train the suspense moves quickly.
Itís the process of this journey on the train and through solving the mystery that keeps the interesting characters busy.
Charming and superbly acted by all with sharp dialogue this is a 10 out of 10 stars film without a doubt.
As usual for Alfred Hitchcock he liked to make a cameo appearance in his films. He does so in this film at the end scene at Victoria Station. Look for him.
Highly recommended as a part of film history.
Donít cheat yourself. See it.
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