It seems to be Hitchcock fever at the moment with the TV movie The Girl and the cinema release Hitchcock coming up, and now the BBC are adding to it with a new version of The Lady Vanishes, the Master of Suspense’s delightful British comedy-thriller from 1938 about a young woman who investigates the disappearance of an elderly lady in the midst of a train journey, a lady who nobody seems to believe she ever existed, and becomes involved in espionage and murder. To me it’s the best of the films he made before he went to America, and we have already had a so-so remake [from Hammer, believe it or not] in 1979 as well as several variants [remember Flightplan?], so the thought of a new version hardly gets me excited and even makes me bristle somewhat.
However, on further investigation, this does seem like it could be a worthwhile project. Like their earlier The Thirty Nine Steps, the writer, Fiona Seres, seems to be going back to the original book, in this case The Wheel Spins by Ethel White, rather than the film, which again differed considerably from it. Sadly this means no Charters and Caldicott for a start! With a solid cast led by Keeley Hawes, Gemma Jones and Julain Rhind-Tutt, this should be worth watching though and is due on British TV screens this Christmas.