'The Lady Vanishes' remake airs on PBS, gets mixed ratings

Posted By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com  |  Aug. 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM
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A remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic "The Lady Vanishes" premiered on PBS as a new "Masterpiece Mystery!" movie on Sunday.

Both films are adaptations of Ethel Lina White's novel "The Wheel Spins," and tell the story of a young woman who meets an older woman on a train. The old woman later disappears and the rest of the passengers insist she never existed in the first place.

The original version of the film, directed by Hitchcock and released in 1938, received mostly positive reviews and currently holds a 97 percent fresh rating on movie ranking site Rotten Tomatoes.

It was no surprise that the decision to remake the acclaimed film for television was deemed as "brave." And once comparisons started being drawn, some of the negative reviews that followed were inevitable.

"It’s about five minutes shorter than the Hitchcock version, but its deliberate pace makes it seem longer," the New York Time's Mike Hale wrote about the film.

"This new 'Lady Vanishes,' directed by Diarmuid Lawrence ('South Riding') from a screenplay by Fiona Seres, is a perfectly adequate television mystery of the week," Hale adds. "But it forgoes the crackling pace, light touch and surprisingly sophisticated sexual banter of the original, opting for melancholy, ominousness and sentimentality."

But it wasn't all bad.

Other critics found PBS's remake "entertaining without either dethroning Hitchcock’s 1938 film or embarrassing itself."

"Hitchcock did it better, of course," The San Francisco Chronicle's David Wiegand wrote. "But at least the filmmakers knew better than to transfer the story to, say, the less-romantic sterility of a contemporary high-speed rail service."

You can check out the trailers for both versions below.

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