Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave get about as down and dirty as you could on an English train in 1937. As always click on the pic to see the hotties in all their bow-tied glory, high rez!
Sexy, but non threatening.
Film critic Bruce Edder called The Lady Vanishes, "sexy" and "non-threatening" (like a boy band?) in his brilliant commentary on the Criterion Collection DVD. Because of the newly-instituted production code in the US, the Americans had suddenly gone from unfettered pre-code naughtiness three years earlier to "no sex, please, we're Yanks." Consequently British films showed more skin (don't miss Margaret Lockwood and friends completely gratuitous pajama party, early in the movie) and made more blatant inuendo than Hollywood dared. Edder suggests that it owes partly to Redgrave's swift dulcet delivery that perhaps censors missed any sex joke that was not accompanied by a leer and the vocal equivalent of a rim shot.
For whatever reason we get the benefit as The Lady Vanishes holds up as one of Hitch's funniest, frothiest movies. He still plies us with thrills, camera gimmicks and macguffins, but more importantly in this movie he perfected that delicate balance of comedy, romance and danger that he used later in his best American films.
Addendum: I just found this brilliant video on Youtube that uses the ubiquitous Brokeback Mountain Trailer to spoof Caldicott and Charters in the Lady Vanishes. Edder talks at length about the English cricket fans who just happen to share a pair of pajamas and a very tiny bed and dismisses the idea that their is anything other perfect innocence in their relatiohship. I invite you to decide for yourself.
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