Screen Analysis Essay Example

Screen Analysis: THE LADY VANISHES

Story and Plot

The story and the plot of a film are often the most challenging part of a film. The two words are sometimes used interchangeably to describe the same thing. However they refer to two different things. The story of a film is basically what happens in the film, it gives a general view of what the film is about. In simple words, a story of a film is ‘what happens in the film. The plot also describes what happens in the film except with a little more detail of the story. The plot of a fil gives the order, frequency and duration of the film. In a nutshell, the plot gives an account of how the story happens.

The story of the film the lady Vanishes is about a young lady that travels through Europe by train who meets an Elderly spinster that vanishes during the train trip. The young lady then turns investigator with the help of other passengers to try and find the elderly lady. The plot of the story is somehow more complex that the story lets out. The fundamental benefit of distinguishing between the plot and the story of the film is therefore to gain an understanding on the message that is brought about by the film itself. The story merely gives an account of an adventure of the lady while the plot gives the hidden meaning of the story. The difference between the story and the plot therefore gives the viewer the desire to understand the motives behind the story. On face value, the story would pass on like any other story but the plot gives much more than that.

The plot has also used the tactic of order, frequency and duration to manipulate time. The film starts off in a crowded place but the whole story evolves in a little confined part of the train. The orders of events are well planned especially after the lady wakes up to find Miss Froy missing while everyone denies having seen her. Frequency is rarely used within the film as well. All these define the core relationship between the fil and the story: the plot gives an insight into the British superiority complied with humor and horror.

Opening and Closing Scenes

The films starts off in a hotel where a bunch of British citizens have been left stranded in an overcrowded hotel after an avalanche forced the train to stop in a village for the night. This forces the passengers to be accommodated in a hotel that could barely be enough for all of them. The scene is filled with humor and sets the mood of the audience to be secure. The scene unfolds with various misunderstandings and discomforts by the British citizens who have to share a room with the maid (the two cricket fans), running out of food at the restaurant (man orders steak only to be told that there is none left). This scene also introduces the characters of the film itself and the theme of the film. The scene shows the superiority that Britons think they have over others with all the discomforts, referring to the village as ‘third rate country (one of the cricket fans, Englishman). The first scene therefore sets the stage for what to except of the Englishmen at later scenes. The goal of the scene appears to portray the British culture as it was in the wake of World War II.

The last scene, unlike the beginning of the film, can be said to be one of the sweetest scene in the film. The scene completely goes the opposite of the dramatic and chaotic first scene. This last scene shows the importance of Miss Froy as the main character, a British spy, unlike the first scene. The cricket fans who at first gave the impression of being patriots when they were so eager to go back home; only to be unveiled later they wanted to watch a cricket match. The closing scene completely brings a new order into the story. The superiority if the Britons, as portrayed in the opening scene are still maintained at the closing scene. The opening scene presented expectations of fewer thrillers and more humor. The closing scene brings drama and thrills to the movie with slight modifications of the characters expectations at the beginning.

Range and Depth of Information

The plot of the fil gives detailed information on the story of the film. Generally, the plot evokes a sense of suspense by giving the audience too little information. When Miss Froy goes missing, the audience cannot tell what the lady suddenly goes missing especially with no one’s knowledge. It is also peculiar, that right before the British passenger’s board the train, Iris is knocked on the head with a brick meant for Miss Froy. In both scenes, it has not yet come clear to the audience why Miss Froy is being targeted. The range of narration of the film can therefore be described as unrestricted. There is suspense created within the plot with some instances where the audience knows more than the character themselves. This is clear when the protagonist (Iris) wakes up from black out to find Miss Froy missing. While all the other strangers claim not to know of her whereabouts or having seen her, the audience already knows that she was there. The same is the case when Dr. Harz’s conspirator walks in dressed in Miss Froy’s clothes and has a patient bandaged up. The audience can clearly tell that the doctor has a hand in the lady’s disappearance though Iris and Gilbert have no clue at this point.

The plot of the fil the lady vanishes also gives an objective narration depth. This is because the film does not give the spectator much insight into the thought of the characters but rather, there is an observational role for the spectator. This is portrayed by the suspense that is created when the characters do not reveal their true intentions. It was only during the shootout that Miss Froy confessed to Gilbert and Iris that she was working as a British spy. Not once has the fil portrayed Miss Froy in that role either through her thoughts or her actions. The objectivity is also evident in the character of Dr. Hartz who only confessed of being the perpetrator of Miss Froy’s disappearance thinking that Iris and Gilbert were going to die. The film does not at any instance put his role as a perpetrator. The intentions of Miss Froy and Dr. Hartz were only known to them.


The lady vanishes has a very clear way of showing causality between the events, from the first scene to the last scene of the film. This is evident in the scene where the passengers cannot travel to their various destinations and are in the end left to be congested in that hotel. The characterization off the characters all start in this venue. This sets up the skills and knowledge of each of the characters. The other scene where causality can be seen is the scene after a train is made available to the passengers. I this scene, just before Iris and Miss Froy board the train, Iris am hit by flower vase that causes her to blackout after which Miss Froy helps her out into the train. The character of Miss Froy is portrayed as a kind and loyal citizen. This scene sets up the link between the disappearance of Miss Froy and the involvement of Iris in the search of Miss Froy. The scene also reveals the motive for the main story for the: the disappearance of Miss Froy. If the vase was indeed intended for the lady them it would be logical to say that the abduction of the lady was as a result of the vase having missed.

Another scene that portrays causality in the film can be seen at the scene where Dr. Hartz confesses the mastermind behind the disappearance of Miss Froy. This seen shows the loyalty of the fake nun, where she eventually refuses to kill Iris and Gilberts but sets them free. This I turn leads to the gun fire and the subsequent successful escape of Miss Froy and Iris. The scene further serves as motivation for Miss Froy to admit her main aim in the movie.


The lady Vanishes 1938 London Directed by Alfred Hitchcock


An avalanche has blocked the railway line leaving passengers to spend the night at the inn. These include Charters and Caldicott (cricket fans who want to catch a game in England).the hotel is congested so Iris complains about loud music coming from one of the rooms leaving the occupant Gilbert Redman to be kicked out of the room and eventually move in to her room. Meanwhile Miss Froy, a former teacher listens to a singer under her window that is killed thereafter.

The next day, before boarding the train, Iris is hit on the head by a vase and is therefore helped by Miss Froy into the train. With them are Charters and Caldicott, Gilbert, Todhunter and his mistress. Following the injury, Iris blacks out. After a while she wakes up to find these strangers with her. She joins the elderly lady into the tea area where she reveals her name by writing it on the window from the loud noise in the train. They return to the compartment where Iris falls asleep again.

When Iris wakes up, Miss Froy has disappeared and the strangers claim not to have seen her. Iris begin to search for her and the course of the search, she meets up with Gilbert who gives her a hand. Dr. Hartz says Iris may be having hallucinations from the blackout. The other two strangers as deny seeing her for fear that they might miss the cricket match.

Soon after a lady appear wearing Miss Froy’s exact clothes. Iris and Gilbert do not notice this and continue searching. During the search, they area attacked and right there they start suspecting Dr Hartz and the patient being Miss Froy. The Doctor then directs one of the conspirators to kill them but the lady does not oblige. Meanwhile, Dr. Hartz admits to being the mastermind on the conviction that they will die. Iris and Gilbert escape and rescue Miss Froy.

Dr. Hartz discovers this betrayal when the train stops. He then orders part of the train redirected to a line that had soldiers waiting. A soldier then orders Iris and Gilbert to follow him but they fight back and obtain his gun. This prompts another soldier to shoot at them and what follows is a shoot-out. During the shoot-out, Miss Froy confesses to Iris and Gilbert that she is actually a British spy that has a message to deliver. She teaches Gilbert’s a song, which is actually a coded message.

Todhunter, in attempt to surrender himself is shot dead in the gunfire. With the help of Gilbert and Caldicott the group manages to escape.

When they get to London Charters and Caldicott are disappointed to find that the match was cancelled. Iris, to avoid her fiancée, takes off with Gilbert to the Foreign Office where they are reconciled with Miss Froy.