Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes - Original 1938 Classic, Restored & Uncut!

7.81 h 35 min19387+
In this Hitchcock classic, passengers on a train are delayed by an avalanche and must crowd together at the only inn in town. When the train finally departs, a middle aged English governess named Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) appears to be missing.
Alfred Hitchcock
Margaret LockwoodMichael RedgravePaul Lukas
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Edward Black
Snowfall, Inc. dba Legend Films
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4.5 out of 5 stars

134 global ratings

  1. 74% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Jeffrey HopeReviewed in the United States on May 25, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Hitchcock Gem from the 30s filled with wonderful humor, mystery, suspense, and humanity
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I don't want to be a snob, but, for me, just because a film is fun and very enjoyable to watch doesn't necessarily mean it is a great film. I reserve five stars for films that are very effective and well made but that also offer a significant amount of human compassion or understanding that would ultimately shed light on human survival. For example, a film that offers a critique of society or of humans in general, or that is about human limitations, or our potentials, or perhaps gives us a peak at a particular culture or walk of life, or that gives us an alternative look at our history or a peak at our possible future would all serve as an important human resource on the avoidance of killing each other or self-destruction. A great film can offer just about anything as long as it of compelling human interest, and this film definitely meets the criteria.

The Lady Vanishes, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, one of the masters of suspense and mystery, is a film that I wish everyone in the western world, especially the younger generation in the U.S., can see, and the reason why I say that is because this movie is rather progressive in different ways, and for that reason, it is very relevant today. We are not in a world war like in WWII fighting a fascist regime, and I am not sure if one is creeping around the corner, but there are some scary things that are happening within our federal government and within society at large with respect to certain mega-power industries that are very quietly manipulating and controlling us to a certain extent at the cost of things like individual liberty, our human rights, etc. And so, the enemy that we face now is similar to the real enemy in the film -- it is the enemy from within.

The real enemy in the film is not the Nazi regime and their european collaborators who are trying to block a secret code from getting to England, but it is our own human ignorance, our fears, and our selfishness that blinds us from seeing what only one or two can clearly see -- that something is terribly wrong and that the only thing that can save us is if we stand up and do something about it and try to convince others to do the same. In today's world, the answer would be the opening of our minds to structural change in society -- the kind of change that would ultimately lead to treating the individual not as a consumer or as a certain race, or as a certain type loaded with all kinds of misinformation and stereotypes but as an independent free-thinking human being who has the ability to create his or her own world when given the opportunity to do so. These fundamental changes would ultimately give the citizen the kind of democracy that they only thought they had, but we'll save that topic for the great film-makers of tomorrow.
25 people found this helpful
ChrisSherrillReviewed in the United States on February 5, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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“The Lady Vanishes” is an interesting and fun movie. It is well paced and well-acted. To be sure it has the sometimes hammy acting we expect from the movies of the time, but that doesn’t imply bad acting. It is comic relief, I suppose. The movie shows its age but I’m sure the cinematography, settings, etc. were top shelf when the movie was made. I wondered when I saw the blurb when the movie was made; it couldn’t be Hitchcock in 2019, could it? No, it is a 1938 film. If you like old movies, if you like Hitchcock, you’ll probably enjoy this one.
16 people found this helpful
lawyeraauReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
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This 1938 Alfred Hitchcock classic film is a mystery that reflects the social mores of the times. It is based upon a book of the same name by Ethel Lina White.

In the film, Hitchcock takes pains to make Iris (Margaret Lockwood), a wealthy young socialite type vacationing somewhere in Europe at a mountain resort hotel, much more congenial than in the book. Iris is returning to England by train, where she is to be married shortly. Just before boarding the train, she is accidentally struck on the head.

A kindly, middle aged governess named Mrs. Froy (Dame May Whitty), who was staying at the same hotel and also taking the train back to England, sees the young woman in distress and takes her under her wing as they board the train. Also on the train is a young man (Michael Redgrave), a musician with whom Iris had a run in at the hotel.

Iris and Mrs. Froy, who is English, occupy the same compartment. They go to the dining compartment and have tea together. Mrs. Froy grows on Iris. Later, they return to their compartment, which they share with several other people. Iris takes a brief nap and, upon awakening, discovers that Miss Froy not only appears to be missing but seems to have left virtually no trace of her existence! Not even the people in their compartment remember seeing her! She then runs into the young man on the train who assists her in her quest. So it begins!

The plot is intriguing, and the mystery is intricately plotted with excellent performances by the entire cast. There is quite a bit of action, prescient of many of Hitchcock’s later films. This is an excellent, plot driven mystery, though one might have to suspend disbelief at some of the more belabored twists in the plot.
5 people found this helpful
R. GoffReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Hitchcock's cameo appearance
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No one mentioned Hitchcock's cameo signature just as the couple arrived. He was smoking a cigarette and appeared to nearly stumble in the brief second or so that he appeared at the station in the last few minutes of the film. He did have some hair then. He was the only director that could glue me to my seat.
12 people found this helpful
Patrick FReviewed in the United States on January 13, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Fun Start Fizzles in a Boring Story
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Starts with a quaint miniature shot of a snowbound town with a polka soundtrack. Then we enter an overloaded hotel filled with travelers diverted by an avalanche. The front desk attendant is a great character with an accent that lends itself to humorous misunderstandings and a playful personality. There’s a fair bit of silliness in the movie which is utterly charming—it’s the sort of silly conflict you’d expect in an overfilled, old-timey hotel (including a late night clarinet player).

Things turn when a woman is concussed by debris from the roof of a train station and the action moves onto a train of escape from the wintery quarantine. The woman with the concussion has tea and books lunch with an old woman, Mrs. Froy, who seems to either disappear or be a figment or the concussed woman’s imagination. Luckily there is a brain specialist on the train who joins the hunt to get to the bottom of the disappearance. The woman eventually accepts that she was suffering complications from her bonk on the head, only for the issue to be further muddied by some additional conflicting evidence coming to light. The investigation wallows in speculation and unexplained oddities. But the “bad guy” is revealed well before the end of the movie to be the brain doctor. But what are his motivations?

Emotions are odd at times. A traveling musician is completely unfazed after shooting members of a foreign military force. A man is more concerned with a cricket match than a murderous plot and gun battle. The movie definitely lags after the main outline of the story is established.

Mrs. Froy turns out to be a spy who is in danger of assignation. Lucky for her, she basically just walks away to safety. Yet another of the odd, unexplained actions.

This movie peaked at about the half hour mark for me and then really lagged toward the end. While I kept reminding myself that it is from 1938 even allowing that sort of lenience did not make up for the basic, boring story or the unnatural actions of the characters. Not even close to Hitchcock’s best.

One person found this helpful
JohawnReviewed in the United States on August 22, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent classic movie but showing its age -- only a bit
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For years, I've had this film to the top of my best-loved list but having seen remakes (not as good) there are elements that show its age. The story and interaction of the performers is still excellent as is the underlying humor. However, the fuzziness of the film and special effects (miniature village) detract from this quality film. I also thought that some of the logic, suspense, and supporting actors were better in at least one of the newer remakes if I compare them honestly. This film will always be an enjoyable, delightful watch for me but it may not attract very many fans with future generations of viewers. Eventually there may be a remake that can do it justice but I am doubtful that any other will be as good.
One person found this helpful
nycReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Train Mytery By Alfred Hitchcock
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I enjoy all Hitchcock films and this one is no different. The movie starts at a hotel and moves to a train. At the hotel everything seems very normal and then suddenly all that was normal becomes abnormal on a train. This film most definitely provided an example of gas lighting. Everything that the woman thought she experienced in reality was told did not exist and that it was all in her mind. As an audience of this movie I started to believe the main character is crazy. The movie was great at concealing the mystery of how the old lady vanished from the train. One reviewer mentioned that Hitchcock is in this film as with most other films, I somehow did not notice. I will try to find him by watching it again.
Graeme SmithReviewed in the United States on May 18, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Hitch at his best!
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A little old lady named Miss Froy mysteriously vanishes on a train in Europe, and when the young woman she befriended tries to discover what happened to her, she finds that nobody will admit to having seen her. A top-notch thriller by the master himself, with a star-making performance by Michael Redgrave as an obnoxious musicologist the young woman enlists in her cause. Two hilariously cricket-obsessed fellow travelers virtually steal the show as the film's comic relief. An absolute must-see!
One person found this helpful
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