[box cover]

The Lady Vanishes

Criterion has already released a feature-packed edition of this 1937 Hitchcock classic (one of the last films he made in Britain before relocating to Hollywood), but if you'd like to save a few bucks and just have the film itself in your collection, LaserLight's edition is an attractive alternative. A rare whodunit in the Hitchcock oeuvre (Hitch always said it was better to let everybody know who the bad guys are right away), Margaret Lockwood stars in The Lady Vanishes as Iris Henderson, a young woman traveling by train from central Europe to England, where she plans to marry. However, when an elderly traveling companion she just met the night before (Dame May Whitty) disappears virtually without a trace from the moving train, Iris demands that the recalcitrant authorities search for her. Unsurprisingly, they tell her she's imagining things, leaving it up to her and English musicologist Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) to solve the mystery on their own. LaserLight's The Lady Vanishes offers a pleasant source print that is showing some damage but also has good low-contrast detail. Audio is clear, and much of the ambient noise found on earlier videotapes in circulation has been constrained. Criterion has released a better, more comprehensive DVD, and serious fans of this film should seek that one out, but LaserLight's disc has a far better street price, making it a great choice for Hitch novitiates. Includes an introduction by Tony Curtis and a trailer for Hitchcock's 1943 Shadow of a Doubt.

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