When watching Alfred Hitchcock’s classic comedy-thriller The Lady Vanishes last night, I couldn’t help but keep returning to a movie I saw several years ago, a Jodie Foster thriller named Flightplan. The similarities are uncanny. Someone close to the main character disappears from a moving transportation vehicle without a trace and nobody remembers what happened.
That was excusable, but I felt that the line between “homage” or “allusion” and “rip-off” was crossed when Flightplan blatantly copied one of the key plot points from The Lady Vanishes.
In The Lady Vanishes, the woman who disappears writes her name in the mist on the dining car window. Later, when the main character is dining at that same table, she sees the name in the mist. Similarly, the daughter in Flightplan draws a heart in the mist on the airplane window, a heart which Foster’s character is able to find by breathing warm air onto said window. Here’s the video evidence: