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The Lady Vanishes [1938]

Director:Alfred Hitchcock
Writer:Ethel Lina White
Frank Launder
Sidney Gilliat
Composer:Charles Williams
Louis Levy
Length:80 minutes
(1 hour 20 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Mystery
IMDB Rating:8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:96%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Reaction: Well done and intriguing.

Personal Rating: 8/10

Alfred Hitchcock => Director / Man in London Railway Station (uncredited)
Ethel Lina White => Writer
Frank Launder => Writer
Sidney Gilliat => Writer
Charles Williams => Composer
Louis Levy => Composer
Basil Radford => Charters
Catherine Lacey => The Nun (as Catherine Lacy)
Cecil Parker => Mr. Todhunter
Charles Oliver => The Officer
Dame May Whitty => Miss Froy
Emile Boreo => Hotel Manager
Googie Withers => Blanche
Josephine Wilson => Madame Kummer
Kathleen Tremaine => Anna
Linden Travers => 'Mrs.' Todhunter
Margaret Lockwood => Iris Henderson
Mary Clare => Baroness
Michael Redgrave => Gilbert
Naunton Wayne => Caldicott
Paul Lukas => Dr. Hartz
Philip Leaver => Signor Doppo
Sally Stewart => Julie
Selma Vaz Dias => Signora Doppo (as Zelma Vas Dias)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The cricket match that is being talked about in the movie by Charters (Basil Radford) is the description of the actual third Ashes test between England and Australia at Manchester in 1938. The result of the test match quite rightly was shown in the end through a newspaper headline - "Match abandoned due to rain".
  • A musician is mysteriously strangled by disembodied hands after serenading Miss Froy under her hotel window. This is not one of the film's loose ends as previously reported. Froy uses a musical code and the singer can be assumed to be passing information to Froy. Note that Froy is carefully listening to the notes, not just enjoying the serenade. The singer is an informant or another spy.
  • Although he uses the fictitious Bandrikan language when speaking to his staff, at the end of the phone conversation in which he conveys Iris's room service order for "champagne", Boris, the harassed hotel manager, exclaims, "Oy vey is mir", a Yiddish expression meaning "woe is me."
  • The film debut of Catherine Lacey.
  • François Truffaut claimed this movie was his favorite Hitchcock and the best representation of Alfred Hitchcock's work.
  • Orson Welles reportedly saw this film eleven times.
  • The set that the movie was shot on was only ninety feet long.
  • Charters and Caldicott (played by Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne) proved to be such popular characters that they were teamed up in other films. They reappeared in Night Train to Munich (also starring Margaret Lockwood) and Millions Like Us, two films also written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder. They also starred in the BBC Radio serials [Crook's Tour] (which was also made into a film), and [Secret Mission 609]. In 1985, they reappeared in the BBC Television mystery mini-series, Charters & Caldicott, played by [?] Robin Bailey and [?] Michael Aldridge.