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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Overall theme, if any, is that things aren't always what (or who) they seem. Even grandmotherly Mrs. Froy isn't the innocent person she claimed to be. Secondary point that the heroine doesn't have to follow through with the security of marriage if the guy seems boring.
Positive Role Models
Iris is an old-school heroine, basically decent even though she (a) comically clumsy and useless in a fight, and (b) faints a lot. She abandons a presumably dull, rich fiance for a more interesting (but poor and footloose) guy. Background characters are twits, spies, rogues, and scoundrels, though some have changes of heart. Two of the supporting characters are an adultrous couple -- a married lawyer stringing along his (also married) mistress, with talk of divorce.
Violence & Scariness
Shootings and a gun battle, with some deaths and wounding, but very little blood. A hand-to-hand scuffle, characters stunned with blows to the head. Inference that a murder will take place in an operating room.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Scenes of young ladies in their slips. An insulting accusation that one character was born "out of wedlock." Two half-naked men have to share a bed together.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking, with narcotic poison (supposedly) insinuated into liquor glasses, presumably champagne.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Alfred Hitchcock classic contains several fatal and non-fatal shootings (though barely any blood is shown), plus an inferred strangling and some hand-to-hand fighting, which is more comical than serious. Social drinking (champagne) is fairly frequent, and a plot line revolves around a character possibly getting drugged. There are some don't-try-this-at-home stunts on a moving locomotive. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Film buffs cherish this intriguing thriller as a peak of Alfred Hitchcock's U.K. film career before Hollywood wooed the British director to be America's "Master of Suspense." But it's got slightly old-fashioned dialogue and pacing (many jokes revolve around fans of the sport of cricket). By modern standards the narrative is a bit of snoozer, at least the first half hour, as Hitchcock calmly introduces ensemble characters in a hotel-bound setting. But then Mrs. Froy disappears, and the real suspense kicks in and never lets up. Those same colorful train passengers who were so silly begin to seem more sinister in their denials and dismissals of the frantic Iris.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.