THE LADY VANISHES (1938)

Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

By 1938, Alfred Hitchcock had firmly established his directorial trademarks—a fiendish mix of humor and suspense, the mystery hinging on carefully planted details (like a nun in high heels) and a fascination with trains. Hitch made seven films prominently featuring trains, but none spent as much time on the rails as THE LADY VANISHES. When elderly governess Dame May Whitty vanishes from a train racing through Europe, the only person who can—or will—remember her is heiress Margaret Lockwood. With the help of a roguish musicologist (Michael Redgrave, in the role that made him a star beyond the stage), she sifts through the clues to uncover an enemy spy ring. THE LADY VANISHES was the most successful of Hitchcock's early British films, which helped him negotiate his move to Hollywood. The picture is now viewed as Hitchcock's sly commentary on England's blindness to the rise of Hitler in Europe. It even came out the year Neville Chamberlain acceded to Germany's annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia.

In attendance: Norman Lloyd.

THE LADY VANISHES
TM and ©2012 TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES A TIME WARNER COMPANY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED