Hitchcock’s “The Lady Vanishes” and the Conspiracy of Genre

Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) is certain there is a conspiracy afoot, but it’s not the one she thinks she is. She is ensnared in the conspiracy of genre, and the machinations of the romantic comedy ensure she will be voluntarily coupled by the end.

Iris starts the film quite resistant to this prospect, as she boards the train to be sacrificed on the altar of…