The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions
Everett Public Library staff | libref@everettwa.gov
Published: Monday, February 24, 2014, 8:00 a.m.

Movie's Better VIII: The Lady Vanishes

Back again for another adaptation argument! This one conveniently coincides with The Evergreen Branch Library's screening and discussion of our latest installment in the Dial H for Hitchcock series, The Lady Vanishes, this Wednesday at 1:30. At 6:30 we repeat the screening.

I have to level with you, dear library readers: I haven't had the opportunity to read the original source material, mostly known by the movie's title, but originally called The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White (1936). Few have read this incredibly hard to find book, which is not in the public domain due to the movie (which is in the public domain, ironically). As I checked review sources, found none, and eventually ended up trolling the Internet, I decided to go with a clever blogger's description of the book as “vintage crime at its best.”

There ara a couple reasons I (maybe, incredibly) contend Hitchcock's adaptation to be an improvement over an original I haven't read:

1.) Hitchcock's track record. Psycho, Rear Window, Rebecca (which we're showing March 26th), and on and on, all terrific improvements over thier source material.

2.) Alma Reville. We all know his wife served as go-between, edited the films, and still cooked the big man dinner. But she was also a terrific screenwriter and script doctor, immeasurably improving his many adaptations.

3.) I'll add a third. Frank Launder joined forces with Sidney Gilliat here, and together they wrote, directed and produced over 40 terrific British films, but this is one of their best.

Also, two poor adaptation/updates stand in instructive contrast. The Lady Vanishes (1979), starring Cybill Shepherd and The Lady Vanishes (2013), starring Tuppence Middleton continued to hold onto Hitchcock's title while apparently ruining the core story. Lastly, The Lady was also serialized in six weekly 15 minute parts on BBC Radio 2, which is supposed to be OK, but no match for the original...film that is, which was a favorite of both Orson Welles and Francois Truffaut.

Will it be a favorite of yours? Come see for yourself this Wednesday! And check out the rest of our film series, Dial H for Hitchcock.

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library.

Story tags » Books

Subscribe to Weekend to-do list
See sample | Privacy policy

Most recent A Reading Life posts

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...
» More life
HeraldNet Classifieds