Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Originality Vanishes: Watching the Copy Cat First & A Few Thoughts on 'The Lady Vanishes'

The picture above is Miss Floy (Dame May Whitty) writing her name on the window because the train whistles are two loud for Iris (Margret Lockwood) to hear her spell it.

Good thing she wrote on the window because when Miss Floy disappears and everyone thinks Iris is having a mental lapse due to being hit on the head with a brick shortly before leaving on her train.

The Lady Vanishes is one of Alfred Hitchcock's last British films before he exploded in Hollywood, and this film was not part of his artistic exposure.

And as I watched it was not only interesting, but also reminded me of the Jodi Foster film Flight Plan...even in terms of the writing on the window.

And there is the challenge of older films. When you watch them for the first time what is original might seem old hat if it has since been copies time and time again.

I personally find The Lady Vanishes to be a great film, with a good mix of comedy, intrigue, and thrills. I haven't seen a British film from this time period like it.

Somehow even if elements are copied, Hitchcock's originality tends to be unrepeatable.

You can copy the Miss Floy story, but you can't copy the magic of The Lady Vanishes.


Paula said...

I'm having over friends on Saturday for a Hitchcock marathon! We don't have access to "The Lady Vanishes", I wish we did!

My husband just watched "Casablanca" for the first time, and he felt like he had seen it before...it's been copied and quoted so many times! It is a strange experience to encounter the originals!

Lorna said...

That's an interesting view of The Lady Vanishes. Because of our British connection, Canadians are probably more familiar with this movie, and for me personally, Miss Floy was like one of my aunts, kind of dotty but absolutely sure of herself. thanks for the memory.

RC said...

@ Paula, you can watch the Lady Vanishes for free right now on Hulu.

@ Lorna, that's interesting b/c I certainly feel like this Hitchcock film is one I really haven't heard people talk about much before. Maybe a little under appreciated.