The Lady Vanishes


1h 37m 1938
The Lady Vanishes

Brief Synopsis

A young woman on vacation triggers an international incident when she tries to track an elderly friend who has disappeared.

Film Details

Also Known As
Lost Lady
Genre
Comedy
Crime
Mystery
Thriller
Spy
Release Date
Nov 1, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Gainsborough Pictures, Ltd.; Gaumont-British Picture Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White (London, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,650ft

Synopsis

Aboard a train bound for London, Miss Froy, an elderly English governess, makes the acquaintance of young Iris Henderson. When Miss Froy disappears, Iris asks for the other passengers' assistance in finding the old woman, only to have all contend that Miss Froy was never on the train. With the assistance of Gilbert, a musicologist, Iris uncovers a spy ring, and eventually finds Miss Froy in London.

Photo Collections

The Lady Vanishes - Movie Poster
The Lady Vanishes - Movie Poster

Film Details

Also Known As
Lost Lady
Genre
Comedy
Crime
Mystery
Thriller
Spy
Release Date
Nov 1, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Gainsborough Pictures, Ltd.; Gaumont-British Picture Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White (London, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,650ft

Articles

The Lady Vanishes - The Lady Vanishes


With The Lady Vanishes (1938), Alfred Hitchcock scored his biggest triumph in Great Britain shortly before leaving to pursue a career in the U.S, where he would eventually become the world's most recognizable film director. In fact, the success of The Lady Vanishes helped him negotiate the best possible deal in Hollywood. It also gave film scholars a healthy helping of those traits that would distinguish his films: deceptive appearances, sly humor, a tangled international plot and what he called "The McGuffin," a nonsensical device used to motivate the action and suspense.

Ironically, although it was one of his biggest hits, The Lady Vanishes was the only major Hitchcock film that he didn't initiate himself. Two soon-to-be-successful British writers, Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, had pitched a novel by Ethel Lina White (who also wrote the book on which The Spiral Staircase, 1946 would be based) to producer Edward Black in 1937. The story, about a young girl on vacation in Europe who befriends an elderly woman then has to prove the lady's existence after she disappears, seemed a natural for the screen. Black gave them the go-ahead, assigned the film to American director Roy William Neill, then sent a crew to Yugoslavia for background shots. One of the crewmembers had a minor accident there, and during the investigation the local police came across the script. One look at the opening pages, which juxtaposed shots of the Yugoslavian army with waddling geese, and the authorities deported the entire crew, which led Black to cancel the production.

A year later, Hitchcock was trying to find a film to end his contract with Black so he could sign a deal with Charles Laughton's production company and pursue offers from America following the success of The 39 Steps (1935). For once, he couldn't come up with a property. Knowing Hitchcock was desperate to get on with his career, Black dusted off the script to The Lady Vanishes and the director immediately agreed to the production. He suggested some changes to Launder and Gilliat that tightened the film's opening and made the finale more exciting, but basically shot the film as written, although he insisted on a screenplay credit for his wife, Alma Reville.

Hitchcock was particularly lucky in his casting, awarding the leads to two actors who would soon become major stars in England. After considering Lili Palmer for the female lead, he settled on a young actress, Margaret Lockwood, who had long dreamed of playing one of White's heroines. The male lead went to Michael Redgrave, a popular young stage actor who had played a bit part in Hitch's earlier thriller, Secret Agent (1936). The stage star was reluctant to commit, however. He had just completed three plays in repertory with John Gielgud and wanted to continue concentrating on his stage work. It was Gielgud who convinced him that he'd learn a lot about filmmaking from Hitchcock but the main lesson he learned was how to handle himself on the set. Hitchcock put most of his work into preparing shots and sequences, editing the film in the camera by shooting just what would end up on the screen. All he wanted from the actors was cooperation. Sensing that Redgrave had a swelled head about his stage work, on the first day of shooting Hitchcock told him, "You know, don't you, that Robert Donat;the star of The 39 Steps; wanted to play this role in the worst way." When he realized that Redgrave didn't care, Hitch took a liking to him, using his casual attitude as a part of the character. As a result, the film made Redgrave, in his first leading film role, an international star.

For the title role, Hitchcock cast Dame May Whitty, a stage veteran who had recently scored a hit in Hollywood as the old lady murdered by Robert Montgomery in Night Must Fall (1937). Although a wonderful actress in certain roles, Whitty was somewhat set in her ways after almost three decades of stardom. To unsettle her, Hitch interrupted her first scene, shouting, "Stop! That's terrible. Aren't you ashamed of yourself?" From then on, she did exactly as he wanted and turned in a surprisingly hard-edged performance as the title character who turns out to be a spy.

As with Whitty, Hitchcock made several of the other actors play against type. Hollywood leading man Paul Lukas was cast as the villain, a seemingly compassionate doctor who turns out to be a cold-blooded espionage agent. Glamorous character actress Catherine Lacy played a nun with a twist -- after a surprising shot of her wearing high heels under her habit, she turns out to be one of the enemy spies. But his biggest success, at least with English audiences, was casting dramatic actors Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as two comical cricket fans -- typical English tourists more interested in catching the latest scores than helping the leading lady find her missing friend. The two were such a hit in their roles that they would repeat them in other films, including the classic horror tale Dead of Night (1945).

The Lady Vanishes was one of those rare films that hit pay dirt on its initial release and has never lost its luster as a classic. When it opened in England in October 1938 it quickly became the most successful British film to that time. Two months later, it was the hottest ticket in New York, where it was named Best Picture of 1938 by The New York Times and brought Hitchcock the New York Film Critics Award for Best Director. It also helped him win a lucrative contract with independent producer David O. Selznick, for whom he would work through most of the '40s.

Producer: Edward Black
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Alma Reville, Sidney Gilliat & Frank Launder
Based on the novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White
Cinematography: Jack Cox
Art Direction: Alex Vetchinsky, Maurice Carter, Albert Jullion
Music: Louis Levy
Principal Cast: Margaret Lockwood (Iris Henderson), Michael Redgrave (Gilbert Redman), Paul Lukas (Dr. Hartz), Dame May Whitty (Miss Froy), Cecil Parker (Eric Todhunter), Naunton Wayne (Caldicott), Basil Radford (Charters), Catherine Lacy (The Nun), Googie Withers (Blanche).
BW-96m.

by Frank Miller
The Lady Vanishes  - The Lady Vanishes

The Lady Vanishes - The Lady Vanishes

With The Lady Vanishes (1938), Alfred Hitchcock scored his biggest triumph in Great Britain shortly before leaving to pursue a career in the U.S, where he would eventually become the world's most recognizable film director. In fact, the success of The Lady Vanishes helped him negotiate the best possible deal in Hollywood. It also gave film scholars a healthy helping of those traits that would distinguish his films: deceptive appearances, sly humor, a tangled international plot and what he called "The McGuffin," a nonsensical device used to motivate the action and suspense. Ironically, although it was one of his biggest hits, The Lady Vanishes was the only major Hitchcock film that he didn't initiate himself. Two soon-to-be-successful British writers, Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, had pitched a novel by Ethel Lina White (who also wrote the book on which The Spiral Staircase, 1946 would be based) to producer Edward Black in 1937. The story, about a young girl on vacation in Europe who befriends an elderly woman then has to prove the lady's existence after she disappears, seemed a natural for the screen. Black gave them the go-ahead, assigned the film to American director Roy William Neill, then sent a crew to Yugoslavia for background shots. One of the crewmembers had a minor accident there, and during the investigation the local police came across the script. One look at the opening pages, which juxtaposed shots of the Yugoslavian army with waddling geese, and the authorities deported the entire crew, which led Black to cancel the production. A year later, Hitchcock was trying to find a film to end his contract with Black so he could sign a deal with Charles Laughton's production company and pursue offers from America following the success of The 39 Steps (1935). For once, he couldn't come up with a property. Knowing Hitchcock was desperate to get on with his career, Black dusted off the script to The Lady Vanishes and the director immediately agreed to the production. He suggested some changes to Launder and Gilliat that tightened the film's opening and made the finale more exciting, but basically shot the film as written, although he insisted on a screenplay credit for his wife, Alma Reville. Hitchcock was particularly lucky in his casting, awarding the leads to two actors who would soon become major stars in England. After considering Lili Palmer for the female lead, he settled on a young actress, Margaret Lockwood, who had long dreamed of playing one of White's heroines. The male lead went to Michael Redgrave, a popular young stage actor who had played a bit part in Hitch's earlier thriller, Secret Agent (1936). The stage star was reluctant to commit, however. He had just completed three plays in repertory with John Gielgud and wanted to continue concentrating on his stage work. It was Gielgud who convinced him that he'd learn a lot about filmmaking from Hitchcock but the main lesson he learned was how to handle himself on the set. Hitchcock put most of his work into preparing shots and sequences, editing the film in the camera by shooting just what would end up on the screen. All he wanted from the actors was cooperation. Sensing that Redgrave had a swelled head about his stage work, on the first day of shooting Hitchcock told him, "You know, don't you, that Robert Donat;the star of The 39 Steps; wanted to play this role in the worst way." When he realized that Redgrave didn't care, Hitch took a liking to him, using his casual attitude as a part of the character. As a result, the film made Redgrave, in his first leading film role, an international star. For the title role, Hitchcock cast Dame May Whitty, a stage veteran who had recently scored a hit in Hollywood as the old lady murdered by Robert Montgomery in Night Must Fall (1937). Although a wonderful actress in certain roles, Whitty was somewhat set in her ways after almost three decades of stardom. To unsettle her, Hitch interrupted her first scene, shouting, "Stop! That's terrible. Aren't you ashamed of yourself?" From then on, she did exactly as he wanted and turned in a surprisingly hard-edged performance as the title character who turns out to be a spy. As with Whitty, Hitchcock made several of the other actors play against type. Hollywood leading man Paul Lukas was cast as the villain, a seemingly compassionate doctor who turns out to be a cold-blooded espionage agent. Glamorous character actress Catherine Lacy played a nun with a twist -- after a surprising shot of her wearing high heels under her habit, she turns out to be one of the enemy spies. But his biggest success, at least with English audiences, was casting dramatic actors Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as two comical cricket fans -- typical English tourists more interested in catching the latest scores than helping the leading lady find her missing friend. The two were such a hit in their roles that they would repeat them in other films, including the classic horror tale Dead of Night (1945). The Lady Vanishes was one of those rare films that hit pay dirt on its initial release and has never lost its luster as a classic. When it opened in England in October 1938 it quickly became the most successful British film to that time. Two months later, it was the hottest ticket in New York, where it was named Best Picture of 1938 by The New York Times and brought Hitchcock the New York Film Critics Award for Best Director. It also helped him win a lucrative contract with independent producer David O. Selznick, for whom he would work through most of the '40s. Producer: Edward Black Director: Alfred Hitchcock Screenplay: Alma Reville, Sidney Gilliat & Frank Launder Based on the novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White Cinematography: Jack Cox Art Direction: Alex Vetchinsky, Maurice Carter, Albert Jullion Music: Louis Levy Principal Cast: Margaret Lockwood (Iris Henderson), Michael Redgrave (Gilbert Redman), Paul Lukas (Dr. Hartz), Dame May Whitty (Miss Froy), Cecil Parker (Eric Todhunter), Naunton Wayne (Caldicott), Basil Radford (Charters), Catherine Lacy (The Nun), Googie Withers (Blanche). BW-96m. by Frank Miller

The Lady Vanishes - Alfred Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES - The Criterion Collection Edition on DVD


In 1938 Alfred Hitchcock was already in a class by himself; English critics referred to his The Lady Vanishes as simply 'a Hitchcock movie'. We now recognize Lady as a romantic-comedy-suspense thriller developed far in advance of its time. Fritz Lang may have pioneered the espionage and conspiracy film, but Hitchcock added his own mischievous personality, mixing jeopardy with sex appeal and a delicious sense of humor.

A great deal of The Lady Vanishes plays out on a passenger train. Besides throwing a score of strangers into a confined dramatic space, the train setting guarantees a heightened sense of excitement: movement toward an uncertain destiny. Although the film's intrigues include kidnapping and murder, Hitchcock maintains a buoyant tone. The supporting characters include a number of amusing eccentrics, and Hitchcock's writers pepper the dialogue with sly jokes and innuendos. But when young Iris Henderson discovers that some of her fellow travelers are not what they seem to be, a European holiday becomes a life and death struggle.

Criterion's two-disc special edition replaces its old original release, spine # 3 in a collection that now numbers over four hundred.

Synopsis: Returning to England from a vacation in Bandrika, Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) befriends a charming old governess, Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). After a nap, Iris finds that Miss Froy has disappeared. The Italians and Bandrikans sharing their train compartment claim that she never existed. Czech neurologist Dr. Hartz (Paul Lukas) suggests that Iris is hallucinating. Other travelers including English cricket fans Caldicott and Charters (Naunton Wayne & Basil Radford) have ulterior motives for denying that they saw the old governess. Music student Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) indulges Iris' stubborn assertions until clues indicate that she's telling the truth -- a conspiracy is afoot!

In Hitchcock's The 39 Steps an innocent fugitive uses charm and wit to evade the police and uncover a traitorous nest of spies. The Lady Vanishes changes the sex of the protagonist and puts her on the spot as 'the girl who knew too much.' As the only witness to an apparent kidnapping, Iris Henderson is given plenty of reasons to doubt her own memory. The other passengers in her compartment contradict her version of events and a respected doctor openly questions her sanity. But Iris has both pluck and spirit, and with the help of an eccentric music student, she chips away at the mystery. If Iris is wrong she'll have inconvenienced a lot of people and proved herself a fool. But if her suspicions are correct lives may be saved, starting with that of the lovable Miss Froy.

Fritz Lang's spy classics predicted that modern times would be an age of technological terror. Hitchcock pulls Lang's paranoia back down to the level of light entertainment. A thoughtless playgirl grows up by taking an interest in Mrs. Froy, the kind of sweet old lady that ingénues normally dismiss with a condescending smile. With Europe and England slipping toward war, Hitchcock's writers place Iris on a Ruritanian holiday surrounded by ignorant Bandrikans and distracted, selfish English tourists. As in Foreign Correspondent, a crime is being hatched in Europe while the English have their noses buried in private problems and petty diversions. The comedy team of Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford are a deadpan pair of cricket twits, and Hitchcock makes their Charters & Caldicott the butt of scores of jokes, starting with their inseparability. If not actually gay, they're platonically married. When the suave Dr. Hartz talks about operating on the brain of an English minister, Gilbert Redman asks him if he indeed found a brain in the man's head.

The Lady Vanishes uses music and dance as a major theme. Young Gilbert and Iris 'meet cute' when the clog dancers he's studying 'play musical chairs with an elephant' on the floor above her room. Charters & Caldicott think that the Hungarian Rhapsody is that country's national anthem. A key tune becomes one of Hitchcock's most clever MacGuffins. His assured direction begins with some quaintly unrealistic model work but progresses to excellent special effects to show Gilbert climbing on the outside of a railway car. Hitchcock keeps interest high with special sequences like the subjective montage of ghostly 'Mrs. Froy' faces that convince Iris to stick to her story.

The Lady Vanishes reinforces 1930s' prejudices against Europeans, who exploit English gullibility and mask their murderous schemes with impeccable manners. When the chips are down the English show their true character. The respectable lawyer is revealed as a coward and appeaser, while Caldicott and Charters prove to be take-charge men of action. Iris and Gilbert's bickering disappears as they commit themselves to solving the mystery -- there's something about that nun that doesn't add up, and it's unwise to expect a magician to stay locked up in his own trick cabinet. Mrs. Froy earns her double-0 spy credentials by dashing into the woods under a hail of gunfire. Iris previously ignored the world outside her hermetic social circle, but adventure and danger open her mind to greater responsibilities. The war is still a year away, but the message imparted is that England can take it.

By 1938 Alfred Hitchcock had become a big fish in a small British pond; he'd soon be snapped up by David O. Selznick and promoted to the Hollywood big leagues. The further development of the English spy thriller would be left to Lady's writers Sidney Gilliat & Frank Launder, and the up 'n coming team of Powell & Pressburger. The film made a star of Michael Redgrave and launched actors Wayne and Radford on a series of spin-off 'Charters & Caldicott' comedies.

Criterion's revised DVD of The Lady Vanishes is a flawless transfer of this highly entertaining thriller, with a sharp image and a rich audio track. Even mumbled lines are perfectly clear, erasing memories of the dismal 16mm prints shown in film school. The commentary is carried by Bruce Eder, who points out the film's relatively straightforward camerawork, and its great many rear projection shots.

A second disc has an entire Charters & Caldicott comedy called Crook's Tour, which mostly serves to remind us how inspired the main feature is. Leonard Leff's Video Essay analyzes Lady in detail, using film clips to illustrate his points directly. An audio extra presents an excerpt from François Truffaut's original tapes talking with Alfred Hitchcock, recorded for his influential interview book. A gallery of photos and artwork are included, and the insert booklet has essays by Geoffrey O'Brien and Charles Barr. Criterion's disc producer is Curtis Tsui.

For more information about The Lady Vanishes, visit The Criterion Collection. To order The Lady Vanishes, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson

The Lady Vanishes - Alfred Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES - The Criterion Collection Edition on DVD

In 1938 Alfred Hitchcock was already in a class by himself; English critics referred to his The Lady Vanishes as simply 'a Hitchcock movie'. We now recognize Lady as a romantic-comedy-suspense thriller developed far in advance of its time. Fritz Lang may have pioneered the espionage and conspiracy film, but Hitchcock added his own mischievous personality, mixing jeopardy with sex appeal and a delicious sense of humor. A great deal of The Lady Vanishes plays out on a passenger train. Besides throwing a score of strangers into a confined dramatic space, the train setting guarantees a heightened sense of excitement: movement toward an uncertain destiny. Although the film's intrigues include kidnapping and murder, Hitchcock maintains a buoyant tone. The supporting characters include a number of amusing eccentrics, and Hitchcock's writers pepper the dialogue with sly jokes and innuendos. But when young Iris Henderson discovers that some of her fellow travelers are not what they seem to be, a European holiday becomes a life and death struggle. Criterion's two-disc special edition replaces its old original release, spine # 3 in a collection that now numbers over four hundred. Synopsis: Returning to England from a vacation in Bandrika, Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) befriends a charming old governess, Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). After a nap, Iris finds that Miss Froy has disappeared. The Italians and Bandrikans sharing their train compartment claim that she never existed. Czech neurologist Dr. Hartz (Paul Lukas) suggests that Iris is hallucinating. Other travelers including English cricket fans Caldicott and Charters (Naunton Wayne & Basil Radford) have ulterior motives for denying that they saw the old governess. Music student Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) indulges Iris' stubborn assertions until clues indicate that she's telling the truth -- a conspiracy is afoot! In Hitchcock's The 39 Steps an innocent fugitive uses charm and wit to evade the police and uncover a traitorous nest of spies. The Lady Vanishes changes the sex of the protagonist and puts her on the spot as 'the girl who knew too much.' As the only witness to an apparent kidnapping, Iris Henderson is given plenty of reasons to doubt her own memory. The other passengers in her compartment contradict her version of events and a respected doctor openly questions her sanity. But Iris has both pluck and spirit, and with the help of an eccentric music student, she chips away at the mystery. If Iris is wrong she'll have inconvenienced a lot of people and proved herself a fool. But if her suspicions are correct lives may be saved, starting with that of the lovable Miss Froy. Fritz Lang's spy classics predicted that modern times would be an age of technological terror. Hitchcock pulls Lang's paranoia back down to the level of light entertainment. A thoughtless playgirl grows up by taking an interest in Mrs. Froy, the kind of sweet old lady that ingénues normally dismiss with a condescending smile. With Europe and England slipping toward war, Hitchcock's writers place Iris on a Ruritanian holiday surrounded by ignorant Bandrikans and distracted, selfish English tourists. As in Foreign Correspondent, a crime is being hatched in Europe while the English have their noses buried in private problems and petty diversions. The comedy team of Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford are a deadpan pair of cricket twits, and Hitchcock makes their Charters & Caldicott the butt of scores of jokes, starting with their inseparability. If not actually gay, they're platonically married. When the suave Dr. Hartz talks about operating on the brain of an English minister, Gilbert Redman asks him if he indeed found a brain in the man's head. The Lady Vanishes uses music and dance as a major theme. Young Gilbert and Iris 'meet cute' when the clog dancers he's studying 'play musical chairs with an elephant' on the floor above her room. Charters & Caldicott think that the Hungarian Rhapsody is that country's national anthem. A key tune becomes one of Hitchcock's most clever MacGuffins. His assured direction begins with some quaintly unrealistic model work but progresses to excellent special effects to show Gilbert climbing on the outside of a railway car. Hitchcock keeps interest high with special sequences like the subjective montage of ghostly 'Mrs. Froy' faces that convince Iris to stick to her story. The Lady Vanishes reinforces 1930s' prejudices against Europeans, who exploit English gullibility and mask their murderous schemes with impeccable manners. When the chips are down the English show their true character. The respectable lawyer is revealed as a coward and appeaser, while Caldicott and Charters prove to be take-charge men of action. Iris and Gilbert's bickering disappears as they commit themselves to solving the mystery -- there's something about that nun that doesn't add up, and it's unwise to expect a magician to stay locked up in his own trick cabinet. Mrs. Froy earns her double-0 spy credentials by dashing into the woods under a hail of gunfire. Iris previously ignored the world outside her hermetic social circle, but adventure and danger open her mind to greater responsibilities. The war is still a year away, but the message imparted is that England can take it. By 1938 Alfred Hitchcock had become a big fish in a small British pond; he'd soon be snapped up by David O. Selznick and promoted to the Hollywood big leagues. The further development of the English spy thriller would be left to Lady's writers Sidney Gilliat & Frank Launder, and the up 'n coming team of Powell & Pressburger. The film made a star of Michael Redgrave and launched actors Wayne and Radford on a series of spin-off 'Charters & Caldicott' comedies. Criterion's revised DVD of The Lady Vanishes is a flawless transfer of this highly entertaining thriller, with a sharp image and a rich audio track. Even mumbled lines are perfectly clear, erasing memories of the dismal 16mm prints shown in film school. The commentary is carried by Bruce Eder, who points out the film's relatively straightforward camerawork, and its great many rear projection shots. A second disc has an entire Charters & Caldicott comedy called Crook's Tour, which mostly serves to remind us how inspired the main feature is. Leonard Leff's Video Essay analyzes Lady in detail, using film clips to illustrate his points directly. An audio extra presents an excerpt from François Truffaut's original tapes talking with Alfred Hitchcock, recorded for his influential interview book. A gallery of photos and artwork are included, and the insert booklet has essays by Geoffrey O'Brien and Charles Barr. Criterion's disc producer is Curtis Tsui. For more information about The Lady Vanishes, visit The Criterion Collection. To order The Lady Vanishes, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

I'm about as popular as a dose of strychnine.
- Gilbert
I've no regrets. I've been everywhere and done everything. I've eaten caviar at Cannes, sausage rolls at the dogs. I've played baccarat at Biarritz and darts with the rural dean. What is there left for me but marriage?
- Iris Henderson
Boris? Miss Henderson speaking. Look, someone upstairs is playing musical chairs with an elephant. Move one of them out, will you? I want to get some sleep.
- Iris
You can't expect to put the two of us up in the maid's room.
- Charters
Well don't get excited. I'll remove the maid out.
- Hotel Manager

Trivia

near the end of the movie at Victoria Station wearing a black coat and smoking a cigarette.

The fictitious country where most of the story takes place is named in the movie: in her first scene, Miss Froy says "Vandreka is one of Europe's few undiscovered corners." The first two stations in the movie are identified by briefly visible signs, and the third in dialogue: they are Zolnay, Dravka, and Morsken.

Gilbert says he once drove "a miniature engine on the Dymchurch line". The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway is a real-life miniature (1/3 normal size) railway in southeast England, which in 2003 still uses steam locomotives and carries passengers over 13 miles of route.

Notes

This film was also known under the title Lost Lady. According to Variety, this was the first film under a new arrangement between Gaumont-British and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, wherein some of Gaumont's Gainsborough productions would be released by M-G-M in England. Hollywood Reporter reported that this agreement included a provision in which M-G-M would pay half the production costs of the Gainsborough films they released. In the United States, however, the film was released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. The film was re-released by United Artists in 1952. Modern credits include Producer Edward Black, Design Maurice Carter and Albert Jullion and Music Cecil Milner in the production.

Miscellaneous Notes

Re-released in United States November 3, 1999

Re-released in United States on Video September 24, 1996

1999 re-release is distributed by MGM and is a new 35mm print.

Re-released in United States November 3, 1999 (Film Forum; New York City)

Re-released in United States on Video September 24, 1996