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The Lady Vanishes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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On the DVD
This two-disc package is the second time Lady has been issued by Criterion, and features a (visually and aurally) improved transfer of the film. It retains a commentary from the earlier release, but adds tasty extras: a half-hour documentary from Leonard Leff (standard stuff, but a nice intro to Hitchcockian ideas), plus a 10-minute audio excerpt from Francois Truffaut's legendary book-length interview with Hitch. This is not only a good way to hear Hitchcock on The Lady Vanishes, it's a fascinating ringside seat at an important moment in film history. And then there's Crook's Tour, a fun 1941 feature comedy vehicle for Charters and Caldicott, the two characters played by Radford and Wayne (they'd been such a hit in The Lady Vanishes that audiences demanded more of them, leading to a long-term teaming in film and radio). All good--but Lady itself is the ride you'll be returning to again and again. --Robert Horton
Crook's Tour, a 1941 feature-length adventure film
Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
Excerpts from Francois Truffaut's 1962 audio interview with Alfred Hitchcock
Mystery Train, a video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes
Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Geoffrey O'Brien and Charles Barr
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fairly simple concept for a film, but very interesting to watch. Not on the level of Rear Window. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
You could hardly make out what they were saying even though it was HD. Too bad because this version is a great movie. Read morePublished 2 months ago by meikol
I love this movie, but the copy was not very good. Still like it thoughPublished 3 months ago by L. Smith
Great movie with fairly decent quality despite its age. For old movie fans and Hitchcock fans alike.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Lady Vanishes is arguably Hitchcock's finest early work alongside The 39 Steps which is still one of best films to date. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Garrett