Tuesday, January 19, 2010

#26 The Lady Vanishes - and it's probably a conspiracy

1938. dir. Alfred Hitchcock, starring Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty.

Seen it before? No.

The first of eleven Hitchcock films, and it was REALLY terrific!

The first fifteen minutes were just weird for me. Everyone is stuck at a hotel due to an avalanche and the hotel puts two cricket fans in a room that is actually the maid's closet. Then a troubadour's performance gets interrupted by an annoying clarinetist. The maid changes a few times...and doesn't speak a lick of English. The hotel runs out of food in the restaurant. Let's just say it wasn't shaping up to be a good movie for me. Although, hindsight being 20-20 it was a clever way of introducing the characters!

The first part of the train scene didn't seem too interesting but I'm glad I paid attention because the rest of the movie wouldn't have made sense otherwise!

This movie had the perfect balance of mystery, excitement, a-ha moments, and actors with good screen chemistry. There was no way you could fall asleep to this movie once it finally started making you think.

Margaret Lockwood is just so beautiful. The two cricket fans were just plain weird. Dame May Whitty was interesting as the eccentric nanny...considering there was more than met the eye with her. I didn't like Gilbert at first and truthfully I felt like for 95% of the movie he wasn't really taking Iris seriously. The doctor was creepy and his role in the movie just made me wonder if there are really people out there in our world today who are like him...and not in a good way!

Would I see it again? Yes, for surely I missed something.
Would I add it to my collection? Yes
Reason I didn't like Gilbert?
Gilbert: Come on, sit down, take it easy. What's the trouble?
Iris Henderson: If you must know, something fell on my head.
Gilbert: When, infancy?

Reason I did like Gilbert?
Gilbert: Can I help?
Iris Henderson: Only by going away.
Gilbert: No, no, no, no. My father always taught me, never desert a lady in trouble. He even carried that as far as marrying Mother.

In other words, he reminds me of someone I know....

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