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LD Criterion THE LADY VANISHES (1938) Hitchcock Lot#2 CLV Second Printing Voyager [CC1104L Spine  4]
 

LD Criterion THE LADY VANISHES (1938) Hitchcock Lot#2 CLV Second Printing Voyager [CC1104L Spine 4]

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Laserdisc Title: "THE LADY VANISHES"
Edition: The Criterion Collection (Single Disc)
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Catherine Lacy
Production / Year: 1938 Gaumont British Film Corporation of America, Ltd
Running Time: 97 Minutes / Black & White
Audio Format: Monaural
Video Format: NTSC, CLV (Extended Play)
Miscellaneous Features: Not Rated
Distributed By: The Voyager Company (Second Printing 1989)
Catalog / Spine Number: CC1104L (Spine Number 4)

IMPORTANT: This is a 12-inch Diameter Laserdisc, which is NOT the same as DVD and cannot be played on a DVD player!

Cosmetic Condition:
Disc (s): Excellent - Hardly noticeable to very minor hairline surface swirls, if any
Jacket: Very Good - Normal shelf wear, few creases, slightly worn-out corners or edges and a very small split middle of top spine

Synopsis:

THE LADY VANISHES was the last film that Alfred Hitchcock made in Great Britain before leaving for a long stay in Hollywood. I consider this one to be the second best of the films he made in England during the thirties, only surpassed by THE 39 STEPS. Of all the films that Hitchcock made, THE LADY VANISHES probably best blends both the suspense and the humor he loved to inject into every film. In fact, this film is funnier than many pure comedies. The scene where Basil Radford hijacks a long distance telephone call, only to shout to the operator, "How's England?!" only to mean thereby, "What has happened in Cricket?" is a classic. This is also yet another of Hitchcock's great train films. No major director used trains as often and as well as Hitchcock, and this is his finest effort in the genre.

The cast for this film is easily the best of any of Hitchcock's 1930s films, and holds up well against any of his American films. Michael Redgrave manages to project both the humor and seriousness that Hitchcock preferred in his leading men, and Margaret Lockwood, although not blonde, makes an excellent leading lady. But it is the supporting cast that makes this film so delectable. Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford appear as "Caldicott" and "Charters," and as a pair of appalling Britishers abroad, they very nearly steal the movie. They were such a hit in this film that they became an instant team, and were paired in many additional films together. Sometimes, as in their memorable golf competition-to-the-death in DEAD OF NIGHT, they played similar characters under new names. But in several films they resurrected the Caldicott and Charters characters, as in Sir Carol Reed's NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH, which was itself a fairly straightforward imitation of THE LADY VANISHES. I must confess that my favorite moments of THE LADY VANISHES occur when they are onscreen, especially in the gunfight at the end, in which they simultaneously display complacent bravery and stoic indifference. Paul Lukas makes a marvelous villain, and Dame May Whitty is perfect playing the title character.

The film is marred mildly by the much lower state of British cinema compared to Hollywood in 1939. One need only compare the initial shot in this film with early shots in REBECCA. I consider THE LADY VANISHES a better film (though REBECCA has some marvelous moments, although in many ways it is an untypical Hitchcock film, forced as he was to conform to Hollywood and not yet able to enforce his own vision there), but if you compare the model sets in the British film with the model shots of Manderlay, the difference is dramatic. The opening shots of the Swiss town are so obviously a miniature; in REBECCA it is not at all obvious that Manderlay is.

THIS IS NOT A DVD!!! THIS IS A 12" LASERDISC AND WILL NOT PLAY IN A DVD PLAYER

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