The Lady Vanishes is a very interesting Hitchcock film, it is essentially the same storyline as the 2005 Jodie Foster vehicle Flightplan with the only change being that it is not a young girl but an old lady who vanishes and Hitchcock’s original is set on a train.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Trapped at a hotel overnight in Europe after an avalanche, the next train to leave is packed full of all kinds of characters. Young Iris (Magaret Lockwood) is one of these people who is on her way to get married. Aboard the train she befriends a kindly old lady, Mrs Froy (Dame May Whitty), however after a brief nap Iris can no longer find her friend and no-one believes that the lady even existed. Iris hence sets out to prove her sanity and find Mrs Froy who is surely in mortal danger.

THE GOOD

As soon as the train journey begins the film is incredible. The claustrophobic atmosphere Hitchcock creates with the camera alongside all the variety of characters aboard the train create a truly thrilling experience with twists and turns galore as the audience is forced to wander why so many people are denying the existence of Mrs Froy.

A stand out Hitchcockian moment comes when Iris is almost convinced she is wrong and that she did in fact imagine Mrs Froy. She looks around her carriage and sees Mrs Froy’s face captured on other passengers in what is a very cool effect.

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There are moments of comedy as well that are neat genius for example two gentleman who are rushing back to England for the cricket attempting to find out the score, or the over-worked hotel manager who is very Basil Fawlty-esque.

The films story is also highly original with very few films following this sort of tense line other thanthe aforementioned Flightplan.

THE BAD
The first half-hour of the film in which all the characters stay overnight at a hotel all felt a bit pointless and as if it was only there to fill out the time. I see that it was there to give time to establish each character however the fact that the scenes go nowhere other than to the train journey left me feeling disappointed; although once the journey began I was so enthralled it was simple to forget this happened.

CAMEO O’CLOCK

Hitchcock makes a cameo right at the end of the film where he walks past the camera smoking a very big cigar.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Lady Vanishes is a brilliant film which I think may stand out at the end of this challenge as being one of the best films Hitchcock made so therefore I must hand it 5 Hitch’s.

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