Welcome to this week's "Movies... For Free!" column, where we showcase classic movies freely available in the public domain (with streaming video!). Read the article and watch the movie right here!
The Lady Vanishes, 1938.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Starring Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas and Dame May Whitty.
Hitchcock's penultimate British movie before his transition to Hollywood, The Lady Vanishes is a loose adaptation of notable crime writer Ethel Lina White's 1936 novel The Wheel Spins, and is set aboard a train bound for England as it passes through a fictionalised facist European state. Margaret Lockwood stars as Iris, a young woman returning home to be married, who befriends an elderly lady, Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty), while sharing a carriage with a group of European travellers.
Iris falls unconscious as a result of an earlier accident, waking to find no sign of the old lady. The other passengers deny having seen Miss Froy and a doctor (Paul Lukas) diagnoses her with hallucinations, but Iris becomes convinced of a conspiracy and sets out to investigate with the help of musician Gilbert (Sir Michael Redgrave, reunited with Hitchcock after a brief, uncredited cameo in 1936's Secret Agent).
The Lady Vanishes was a huge hit upon release and became the most successful British film of the time. Hitchcock was presented with the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director, while the film was also named Best Picture by the New York Times. This success allowed Hitchcock to negotiate a lucrative seven-year contract with Hollywood producer David O. Selznick, a partnership that would begin with the Academy Award-winning Rebecca (1940).
Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.
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