#118 The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Introducing our third Alfred Hitchcock film on this. The Lady Vanishes is when a woman who is going back home to get married befriends a nice, old lady on a train only to vanish after falling asleep.

A young heiress decides to solve the mystery of the disappearance of her new friend, Miss Foy, who goes missing after she gets knocked out. When she tries to tell everyone on the train that her friend is missing, everyone pretends that they don’t know what she’s talking about for their own personal reasons. This movie reminded me so much of Flightplan (2005) that starred Jodie Foster where she loses her daughter on an airplane after passing out but everyone tells her she was never on the plane. Especially the scene above brought me back to that movie was Miss Foy putting her name on the window which proved she was on the train. But trust me, The Lady Vanishes was a much better film than Flightplan. Another thing I liked about this movie was the chemistry between Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave in that bickering-love relationship. It’s too bad they never made a detective series with the two of them. Well, they star together in The Stars Look Down (1940) if anyone is interested.

This whole movie puts us on a journey to find out what did happen to Miss Foy and the Master of Suspense strikes again. Were any of you able to spot the MacGuffin (a device that Hitchcock includes that is the silent driving force of the story)? It’s interesting how Vivian Leigh was tested for the role of Iris when she looks so similar to Margaret Lockwood. Makes sense! Apparently, Orson Welles saw this film eleven times. Only eleven?! Just joking. Another interesting fact about this movie is, according to Hitchock, this story was inspired by the legend of a woman in Paris who went to get her mother medicine and her mother disappeared from the hotel she left her at. The legend said the mother had bubonic plague and no one could know or everyone would flee Paris. The nerve! But still makes a good story for the screen. I highly recommend this film as I feel like this is one of Hitchcock’s finest and will keep you intrigued throughout.

Watch the movie that Orson Welles saw eleven times right here and comment your reactions: 


#117 Olympia Part 1 and 2 (1938)

Introducing the first documentary ever about the Olympics! Leni Riefenstahl returns for Olympia, a documentary about the Berlin 1936 Olympic games and the extraordinary talent we witness in each sporting event. 

Ugh! What an image! To think that this film was made possible by Adolf Hitler. Just like Triumph of the Will, this film is another type of Nazi Germany propaganda. I wonder what thoughts were going on in Hitler’s mind when he saw a quarter of black athletes win for the U.S. team. The 1936 Berlin games was known for seeing Jesse James win the gold, making him also known as the fastest man alive. Considering Hitler didn’t like black people as well as Jews, I’m sure he wasn’t happy about this. To think that Mack Robinson, brother of Jackie Robinson, lost to Jesse Owens by .4 seconds. Write in if you would be mad at the world too. It would make me wonder how my life would go if I was just .4 seconds faster.

This documentary used a lot of innovative filmmaking techniques as we saw such as extreme close-ups, tracking shots, different camera angles, and more to show the beauty of athleticism. We see plenty of sports in the Summer Olympics such as rowing, diving, running, pole vaults, etc. My favorite sport to see was the diving as we saw the beautiful matching editing techniques and were able to get a good view of the divers from the board to the water. What was your favorite sport to see? This was a good Olympics event to watch as we saw the underdogs achieve victory as well as celebrate the beauty of the human sport. 

Witness the 1936 Olympics and comment what you think:

#116 Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Next on our list is the mother of all screwball comedies and the second film to star Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Howard Hawks’s Bringing Up Baby is when a nerdy paleontologist keeps clashing with a hair-brained heiress who wants him to help her bring her leopard, Baby, to her aunt’s farm in Connecticut.

So we meet David Huxley, a paleontologist who really wants to get a million dollar donation and get the last piece to complete his Brontosaurus skeleton. He accidentally meets Susan Vance, a zany, looney heiress who is immediately in love with David but he, on the other hand, is too turned off by her troublesome ways. Since she mistakes him for a zoologist and does not want him married to his fiancé,  she tricks David into helping her bring her aunt’s leopard back to Connecticut. A lot of mishaps occur such as mistaking her leopard for one not so tame, David ruining Susan’s dress to exposure her bare bottom, ending up in jail, etc. It’s like these two should not be together but are somehow still connected to each other and just can’t help themselves. 

This was my favorite scene in the movie! Thank you Cary Grant for having the guts to say this line out loud. Many actors should have learned from him that if you want something risqué to appear in a film past the censorship boards, improvise the hell out of it! I also give Cary Grant credit for being able to deal with a leopard that he was afraid of. That would probably terrify me if I was afraid of being eaten every time I was on set! I can’t believe this is Katherine Hepburn’s first comedy. She played the role like a pro! This film is the perfect example of a screwball comedy in that you see two characters who are totally wrong for each other and how it’s clearly one-sided but their chemistry makes us forget all of that. I especially love the big stunt during the ending but I will not spoil it. This movie will give you a lot of laughs, I guarantee. 

Watch Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in the classic screwball comedy and please comment what you think: