Hitchcock’s penultimate British film before he left for Hollywood, The Lady Vanishes comes up as fresh and witty as ever. By this stage in his career Hitch had perfected his trademark teasing mix of comedy and thrills, and Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat’s rollicking spies-on-a-train yarn furnished him with ideal material. As the dauntless young leads, Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood set up good bantering chemistry, and there’s not a weak link in the supporting cast: Dame May Whitty as the vanishing old lady, Paul Lukas a suave proto-Nazi heavy, Cecil Parker as a pompous adulterer, and of course Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne inaugurating their double-act as Charters and Caldicott, cricket-mad silly-ass Brits who still turn up trumps in a fight. Sheer stylish entertainment and – despite some dodgy model-work - a joy from start to finish.
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