Classic Cinema Spotlight: The Lady Vanishes

by - May 22, 2014

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When I came across The Lady Vanishes (1938) I kept myself completely in the dark about the synopsis and ending. I know this sounds mad, but it doesn't bother me to know the full story or ending of something. I think it was all those years reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. Nothing gets taken away from me if I know the ending.

The more I watch Hitchcock's films the the more I think he was a genius when it came to suspense. This film stars Michael Redgrave as Gilbert, a young musicologist and Margaret Lockwood as Iris, a younge English tourist.

Now I have not seen many classic English films but I have seen a few. I have seen Michael Redgrave (the father of Vanessa Redgrave and grandfather Natasha Richardson) before and he is slowly beginning to become one of my favorite classic film actors. I have never seen Margaret Lockwood before but after seeing this film, I want to watch everything she has made. She just lights up the screen and brings you into the world that she is in and I haven't encountered many classic film actresses who have done that for me.

The film begins with Iris is traveling back to England via train to get married to a man she doesn't love. She meets an older, kindly woman named Miss Froy who is played wonderfully by Dame May Whitty. While chatting, Miss Froy writes her name on a window. It's important to remember that bit of information even though it seems unimportant.

Iris and Miss Froy go back to the compartment they are sharing and Iris they falls asleep. When she awakens she finds that Miss Froy has vanished!!

Michael Redgrave
The Lady Vanishes
The Lady Vanishes
The Lady Vanishes
The Lady Vanishes

There is a great deal unfortunately that I have to leave out in this review only because there are twists and turns and a very surprising ending that I wouldn't want you to figure out beforehand. Like I said before, I rarely ever not know what a film is about but I am really glad I remained clueless about this one. Although I have to confess it tortured me not knowing!

As Iris searches for Miss Froy and people around them deny she even existed, does Iris find Miss Froy? How does the dashing Gilbert play in all this? Does Iris marry that man in England? Is Iris actually going mad or is Miss Froy somewhere on the train?

I hope you decide to see this film soon. It is currently on Netflix streamline and I think I may just rewatch it this weekend. I just have to pretend I don't know the ending already!

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3 comments

  1. Oh, I adore this movie! My mother and a few of her friends have a movie night every other week, and I pretty much forced this film upon them a few months ago. Fortunately, they all loved it!

    Cheers,
    Jenny

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  2. I love this movie! Glad you did too :)

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  3. I've seen a number of the really old Hitchcock movies (pre-1950's) and this is my favorite one.

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