5.9/10
2,032
40 user 13 critic

The Lady Vanishes (1979)

PG | | Action, Comedy, Mystery | March 1980 (USA)
Whilst traveling in pre-war Nazi Germany, a young couple realise a passenger seems to have been kidnapped off their train, but, no other passenger aside from themselves, recalls her.

Director:

Anthony Page

Writers:

George Axelrod (screenplay), Sidney Gilliat (based on the screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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High jinks and chills ensue when a group of people become stranded at an isolated station and a legendary phantom train approaches.

Director: Walter Forde
Stars: Arthur Askey, Richard Murdoch, Kathleen Harrison
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elliott Gould ... Robert
Cybill Shepherd ... Amanda
Angela Lansbury ... Miss Froy
Herbert Lom ... Dr. Hartz
Arthur Lowe ... Charters
Ian Carmichael ... Caldicott
Gerald Harper Gerald Harper ... Todhunter
Jenny Runacre ... Mrs. Todhunter
Jean Anderson ... Baroness
Madlena Nedeva Madlena Nedeva ... Nun
Madge Ryan ... Rose Flood Porter
Rosalind Knight Rosalind Knight ... Evelyn Barnes
Vladek Sheybal ... Trainmaster
Wolf Kahler ... Helmut
Barbara Markham ... Frau Kummer
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Storyline

On a train traveling through pre-WW II Germany, American heiress Amanda Kelly befriends a Miss Froy, an older nanny. But when Miss Froy disappears, everyone Amanda asks denies ever having seen her. Eventually Amanda persuades American photographer Robert Condon to help her search the train, during which they discover that Miss Froy wasn't quite what she seemed. Written by measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All aboard the train of mysterious events! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

March 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La dama desaparece See more »

Filming Locations:

Austria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional. See more »

Goofs

Amanda Kelly's shoes while pursuing the train. See more »

Quotes

Robert: She's indestructible. She's an English nanny!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Horror Film (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

I can see no reason to watch this film while the 1938 original still exists on earth
14 August 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In an overcrowded hotel, many travellers await a train to their destination. Among them is Miss Froy - a school mistress, Robert Condon, a photographer for Life magazine and Amanda Kelly, a socialite on her way to meet her fiancée. When Amanda gets a knock on her head on the train, Miss Froy looks after her. She falls asleep for a while and wakes up to find Miss Froy gone. When she enquires, no one else can remember any such woman being on the train – did she imagine it or is something more sinister afoot?

Of course it isn't rubbish but no matter how "OK" this film it, it simply isn't comparable to the much, much better Hitchcock original – sadly a statement that I consider true of all aspects of the film. The plot is held as in the original but for this story to work the delivery needs to be good. Hitchcock did it well producing a pacy and enjoyable film that was light but engaging at the same time. Here the film isn't too much longer than the original but my gosh it drags by comparison. The lack of tension was a real surprise to me and the film failed to draw out the mystery – of course I knew it was not in Amanda's head but I do when I watch the original as well – this familiarity doesn't totally account for the lack of tension in the film generally, that is more to do with the lack of urgency and the starry feel of the film generally. Filmed in lush colours and a postcard presentation of Europe the film looks professional but the brightness undercuts the tension yet again. Page generally doesn't do much with the direction to help the material or cast out – it all looks OK but doesn't do that much. Viewers who have not seen the original might enjoy it but anyone coming to it second will struggle to find much added value in this retread.

Gould and Shepherd both overegg their performances and lean too heavily on the side of humour without doing enough on the side of the mystery. Of course neither of them are helped by their lack of chemistry with one another. There is no spark at all and they generally just bluster around each other. Lansbury is OK as the lady of the title but you can't help feel that she's doesn't really deserve to share the same role as the much better Witty. Lowe and Charmichael dominate with a rerun of the amusing English clichés from the original although Lom is worth a look. The rest of the cast however, just fill in the background without too much effort or style.

Overall this is a distracting and OK film in its own right but I simply cannot see any reason why any viewer would find this a more worthwhile venture than the original. In every way, from direction and tone through to performances and cinematography, the film is a poor photocopy of the original. If you haven't seen it then you should be watching that; if you have seen it then I don't understand why beyond a morbid sense of curiosity, you'd want to watch this remake.


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