There’s a new version of The Lady Vanishes on BBC1 this Sunday at 8-30pm, which should most definitely be worth a look. This time it’s Keeley Hawes and Tom Hughes who are trying to prove the existence of the vanished Miss Froy. The BBC describes the production as a ‘psychological thriller,’ which suggests a darker tone than the two previous comic-thrillers.
The 1938 original starred Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. It was based on a novel called The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White, who was apparently quite a popular crime novelist back in the day. When it was released, The Lady Vanishes caught the admiring eye of Mr. David O. Selznick and Hitchcock relocated to Hollywood soon after. Hitchcock made his habitual appearance in a scene at Victoria Station.
The remake in 1979 starred Elliot Gould and Cybill Shepherd, and was the last movie made by Hammer Films for nearly thirty years.
The supporting characters of Charters and Caldicott aren’t in the cast list for the new version. Played by Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford in the 1938 movie, they never appeared in the original novel, but they proved so popular they spun-off into another couple of movies, a radio serial and later appeared in the remake — played by Arthur Lowe and Ian Carmichael — and a telly series in the 80s starring Michael Aldridge and Robin Bailey — anyone remember that?