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My favorite Hitchcock
When The Lady Vanishes opened in the UK it was an immediate hit, becoming the most successful British film to that date. It was also very successful when it opened in New York.
The film has retained its popularity through the years. In his review for the BBC, Jamie Russell gave the film four out of five stars, calling it a "craftily sophisticated thriller" and a "cracking piece of entertainment". In his review for BFI Screenonline, Mark Duguid wrote that the film was "arguably the most accomplished, and certainly the wittiest of Hitchcock's British films, and is up there with the best of his American work". Duguid singled out the young writing partnership of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, noting:
The story is blessed by great characters and many witty and imaginative touches, in particular the conceit by which the passengers are each given selfish motives for refusing to verify Iris' story. As well as the chemistry between the two leads, the film has some of Hitchcock's best character parts, with Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne particularly good value as the cricket obsessed Charters and Caldicott.
The American film critic and historian Leonard Maltin gave the film four out of four stars in his Movie Guide, and included the film in his list of 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century.
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