The Lady Vanishes

A stunning new transfer of Alfred Hitchcock's sublimely thrilling 1938 film The Lady Vanishes is out on Criterion. Margaret Lockwood plays the lovely lady traveling by train who befriends an elderly woman Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) and then when the old lady vanishes everyone on the train denies ever seeing her. Lockwood enlists a cocky young man (Michael Redgrave), who is writing a book about European folk music, and they frantically search for the missing Miss Froy. The train is filled with all sorts of suspicious characters and some comical ones -- like the hilarious British cricket fanatics Caldicott and Charters (played by Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford).

But the movie is a streamlined suspenseful treat from beginning to end. Criterion has really upgraded from the last time this was on DVD and the image is sharp and clear. They also added a second disc with another mystery starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne (a 1941 film called Crook's Tour), and a video essay by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff.