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Daily Mail (04/Jan/2008) - Hitchcock's classy lady reappears

(c) Daily Mail (04/Jan/2008)

Hitchcock's classy lady reappears

Here's a welcome chance to see Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 classic on the big screen.

This is the one about a rich, young playgirl (Margaret Lockwood), who believes that an old woman (Dame May Whitty) has gone missing on a transcontinental train, but only one man, a breezy musician (Michael Redgrave), believes her.

There are a few dodgy model shots and some unconvincing back-projection. This was, after all, a low-budget British movie but they are easy to overlook, for in every other way this film is perfection.

A fascinating story, witty dialogue, top-notch performances and brilliant direction (skilfully mixing three genres comedy, thriller and romance) make this many people's favourite movie.

Orson Welles is reputed to have seen it 11 times, James Thurber 13. On the strength of The Lady Vanishes, New York film critics voted Hitchcock best director of 1938; and he moved to the U.S. in 1939.

There was an abysmal remake in 1979, which showed just how hard it is to make this kind of nonsense credible.

Accept no substitutes for this blissful original...