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Midnight Movie: The Lady Vanishes (1938) – Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood,Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty

01/08/2019

Classic Hitchcock Movie with great script,great cast – one of my favourite films

Wikipedia

The Lady Vanishes is a 1938 British mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. Written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder based on the 1936 novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White, the film is about a beautiful English tourist travelling by train in continental Europe who discovers that her elderly travelling companion seems to have disappeared from the train. After her fellow passengers deny ever having seen the elderly lady, the young woman is helped by a young musicologist, the two proceeding to search the train for clues to the old lady’s disappearance.

The Lady Vanishes was filmed in the Gainsborough Studios at Islington, London. Hitchcock caught Hollywood’s attention with the film and relocated to Hollywood soon after its release. Although the director’s three previous efforts had done poorly at the box office, The Lady Vanishes was widely successful, and confirmed American producer David O. Selznick‘s belief that Hitchcock indeed had a future in Hollywood cinema.

The British Film Institute ranked The Lady Vanishes the 35th best British film of the 20th century. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine saw it ranked the 31st best British film everHaving remained one of Hitchcock’s most renowned British films,] a remake (also titled The Lady Vanishes) was released in 1979, and in March 2013 the BBC broadcast a TV adaptation starring Tuppence Middleton as Iris. Bill Kenwright has adapted the 1938 film to a stage version which will be on a national tour in 2019. The play stars husband and wife Juliet Mills and Maxwell Caulfield and Lorna Fitzgerald

Plot

English tourist Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) arrives at the “Gasthof Petrus” inn in the country of Bandrika, “one of Europe’s few undiscovered corners”. Iris is returning to Britain to marry a “blue-blooded cheque chaser”, but an avalanche has blocked the railway line. The stranded passengers are forced to stay the night at the inn, including Charters and Caldicott, cricket enthusiasts who want to return to England to see the last days of the Test match.

That evening, Iris complains about loud folk music coming from the room above her. She has the guilty musician, Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave), thrown out of his room, only to have him move into hers, forcing her to capitulate.

Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty), a former governess and music teacher, listens to a tune performed by a folk singer under her window. Unseen by her, the singer is killed.

The next morning, before catching the train, Iris is hit on the head by a planter apparently aimed at Miss Froy, who then helps Iris onto the train. Also on board are Charters and Caldicott, Gilbert, a lawyer named Todhunter and his mistress “Mrs. Todhunter”. As a result of her injury, Iris blacks out. After the train is moving, Iris wakes up in a compartment with Miss Froy and several strangers. She joins Miss Froy in the dining car for tea. Unable to be heard above the train noise, the elderly lady writes her name on the window with her finger. Soon after, they return to their compartment, where Iris falls asleep. MORE AT LINK

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