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#20 The Lady Vanishes

Known to many as Hitchcock’s signature British film, The Lady Vanishes is a spy thriller that gives you an appropriate balance of mystery and comedy. In simplest terms it is a story of a lady who vanishes on a train seemingly without a trace as if she never existed. However there is another lady on the train who remembers her, a tourist played effectively by Margaret Lockwood who will stop at nothing in her quest for the missing woman. Ultimately the tourist has no choice but to intermingle with the other passengers in her exploration, and there lies the charm of the film as the supporting cast is nothing less than remarkable. While on the train and during an overnight stay at a nearby inn, it is the little people of the film who truly make the film what it is; a witty ensemble piece that lets the script play the front and center. An interesting side note however is that two supporting characters (Charters and Caldicott) were met with such admiration that they went on to recur their roles several times in films that followed. In any event without a doubt this film had a profound impact on not only the audience but producers in Hollywood as well, as this was ultimately the film that persuaded David O. Selznick to bring Hitchcock to America, a decision that would change the landscape of cinema forever.

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