Saturday, November 08, 2014

Dvd/150: THE LADY VANISHES (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938)

For me, THE LADY VANISHES is the greatest of Hitchcock's British films.  The archetypal caper thriller, it's mixture of thrills and humour is an enduring delight.

With it's plot of several English travellers on a train caught up in a foreign power's espionage in Europe on the brink of war, it speaks of it's time: when the passengers are finally confronted with the real threat facing them, they have to stand and fight.

Iris (sparkling Margaret Lockwood) is travelling back to London, resigned to her imminent marriage.  She is befriended by ex-nanny Miss Foy who vanishes while Iris sleeps.  When her fellow-passengers deny Miss Foy ever existed, Iris' only ally is Gilbert (Michael Redgrave in a glorious film debut) who she had previously argued with at their hotel.

Hitchcock's superb direction, Launder and Gilliat's cracking script and memorable performances make this a classic to enjoy again and again.

Shelf or charity shop? It's no mystery... Shelf!

No comments: