The Lady Vanishes 1938 NR CC

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(197) IMDb 8/10
Available in HD

In Alfred Hitchcock's most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster (Dame May Whitty), who then seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure.

Starring:
Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave
Runtime:
1 hour, 36 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

The Lady Vanishes

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Mystery, Comedy
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Starring Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave
Supporting actors Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Mary Clare, Emile Boreo, Googie Withers, Sally Stewart, Philip Leaver, Selma Vaz Dias, Catherine Lacey, Josephine Wilson, Charles Oliver, Kathleen Tremaine, Alfred Hitchcock, Roy Russell
Studio The Criterion Collection
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

This is one of Hitchcock's best films.
Movie Mania
THE LADY VANISHES is one of Hitchcock's most thoroughly delightful films combining equal parts cheerful romance, comic wit, and thrilling suspense.
Casey62
I can never make up my mind which of his films is the best and most perfect; I guess that's just impossible to say.
Daisy Ghostly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 5, 2007
Format: DVD
This 1937 comic thriller is one of the first great masterpieces of Alfred Hitchcock. Based on Ethel Lina White's novel, THE WHEEL SPINS, it mixes laughs and chills better than just about any other film, before or since. A nervous bride-to-be (beautiful Margaret Lockwood) meets a sweet elderly woman (the magnificent Dame May Whitty) on a train bound through Europe to London just before WWII. Also aboard: a roguish musicologist (Michael Redgrave), a pair of adulterers (Cecil Parker and Linden Travers), a smooth German doctor (Paul Lukas), two delightfully fussy cricket fans (Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne), and a mysterious nun (Catherine Lacy) wearing sexy high heels under her habit. When the old lady disappears from the moving train, the young heroine investigates, and everyone else aboard insists that she is mistaken--there never was any old lady....

I can think of no higher tribute to Hitchcock than the fact that so many recent hit films are virtual remakes of his classic gems. DISTURBIA is REAR WINDOW recast with modern teens, and the 2005 Jodie Foster thriller, FLIGHTPLAN, was an unofficial remake of THE LADY VANISHES with an airliner standing in for the train--right down to the famous "fingerprint on the window." Why do modern filmmakers keep imitating the Master's films? See for yourself. This new, 2-disc reissue from Criterion has a lot of extras and a newly remastered print of the film itself. It's a must for fans and newcomers alike. Highly Recommended.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By C. T. Mikesell on May 4, 2004
Format: DVD
First the usual warnings: caveat emptor, you get what you pay for, etc. etc. etc., yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah. With that out of the way, let me say that getting these three early Hitchcock films at such a low price is an extremely good deal. Sure they're blurry in parts and there are occasional picture/sound glitches, but nothing really interferes with either the storytelling or the suspense, which is really why you're watching them in the first place.

Let me add that the four-star rating is for the DVD as a whole. None of the films are presented at four-star quality (The Lady Vanishes is maybe three-and-a-half), but the fact that you get three movies instead of one or two bumps the score from average to slightly-above.

The Man Who Knew Too Much is the oldest of the three movies and its print and sound quality are the most deteriorated. Nevertheless, the symphony scene and the final gunfight retain their suspensefulness. The movie holds its own against the 1956 remake; Leslie Banks is no Jimmy Stewart, but at least Edna Best doesn't sing.

Secret Agent features a young John Gielgud, only a year or two out of short pants, I'm sure. Peter Lorre steals the show here, however, as an assassin or curious nationality. Of the three, I felt this was the least Hitchcockian in comparison with his later - and greater - work. It works on a psychological level, like his very-early Blackmail, rather than building the suspense of the other two films on this DVD or terror of Psycho or The Birds. The "self-translating" cypher notes are a nice effect; the spinning bowls and train crash are nice attempts at special effects that fall a little short of the mark.

The Lady Vanishes is the most recent of these films, and sports the best sound and picture.
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Damato on August 5, 2000
Format: DVD
There's one thing that movies can do better than any other artistic medium. It's having you experience something from a character's point of view, and then having every other character in the movie say it never happened. Your empathy as a viewer is at its highest pitch: you saw what happened with your own eyes, and so you see it through the character's eyes as well, but then everyone denies it. This is the central scene on the train in THE LADY VANISHES. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in my opinion, is more cinematic than this. When the idea is used to trick the viewer (as in THE USUAL SUSPECTS), it's not as good (although still it's pretty good, because again it uses film in the most empathetic way possible). And when the trickery is fair--as in THE SIXTH SENSE--it can be superb. I rank THE LADY VANISHES right up there with VERTIGO, PSYCHO, and REAR WINDOW, as Hitchcock's greatest gifts to us, the moviegoers of the world. I would even add SHADOW OF A DOUBT to this pantheon. The thing I admire most about Hitchcock is that he was attracted to stories that showed what film could do as an art form. His best movies, in their different ways, display this for us. The movies I've mentioned would not be as good as novels or plays--and this is saying a great deal. It's a test, as a matter of fact, of what separates the film as an art medium from other artistic forms. The two directors who knew this best were Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney. It would be so terrific if someone were to come along someday who could be said to be their equal. Bottom line: THE LADY VANISHES is one of the best movies you will ever see, but please, it works at a slower pace than today's movies, so let it sink in for you, don't be in a hurry, EXPERIENCE it!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Brad Baker VINE VOICE on November 24, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Criterion has just released the new 2-disc transfer of 1938's "The Lady Vanishes", Alfred Hitchcock's last great British effort; filmed just before he was swallowed-up by David O. Selznick and Hollywood. Just before the war, the beautiful young Iris(Margaret Lockwood), traveling across Europe by train, meets the governess Miss Froy(Dame May Whitty), a charming old spinster, who promptly disappears into thin air. In fact, no one even recalls having seen the old lady aboard the train. Iris turns sleuth, and soon finds herself drawn into a complex murder-mystery and robust adventure. The fictitous country where most of the story takes place is named in the movie by Miss Froy in her first scene: "Bandrika is one of Europe's few undiscovered corners". "The Lady Vanishes" is a love story, two daffy, English gents, and two car-loads of Nazi's, all tossed together in a quick-witted, devilish comic thriller. Droll English humor keeps the proceedings moving along. In one scene, Iris complains: "Hello, Boris? Miss Henderson speaking. Look, someone upstairs is playing musical chairs with an elephant. Move one of them out, will you? I want to get some sleep". A remarkable cast includes Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lucas, and Dame May Whitty. As the redoubtable Miss Froy, Whitty easily steals the entire film. The final sequence is just short of perfect. Dame May Whitty died at age 82 from cancer in Beverly Hills, shortly after her scenes in the movie "The Sign of the Ram(1948)". She once said, "I've got everything Betty Grable has...only I've had it longer". Modestly budgeted, "The Lady Vanishes" was shot on studio stages, and relied on miniatures, rear-projection, stock footage, transparencies, and one ninety-foot-long railroad set.Read more ›
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