1. THE LADY VANISHES (Alfred Hitchcock; 1938) 4 stars

Trains are perfect settings for murder-mysteries and thrillers, as Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes" proves -- with Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood as lover-sleuths, Paul Lukas as a suave interloper, Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford as ineffable cricket-lovers Caldicott and Charters and Dame May Whitty as Miss Froy, the lady who vanishes. (available on DVD and video)

2. OUR MAN IN HAVANA (Carol Reed; 1960) 3 stars

A decade after "The Third Man," Reed and writer Graham Greene collaborated again on this dry, comic thriller adapted from Greene's novel about Wormold (Alec Guinness), a mild-mannered vacuum cleaner salesman who allows himself to be recruited as a spy in Cuba, passing on phony info in which his cleaners become weapons models. Smart and amusing, if a little disappointing, it has a great cast, including Maureen O'Hara, Ernie Kovacs, Burl Ives. (video)

3. MODESTY BLAISE (Joseph Losey; 1966) 3 stars

Losey pushes everything to extremes in this high-camp pop-art adaptation of the famous contemporary comic strip about a female secret agent. With Monica Vitti (as Modesty), Dirk Bogarde, Terence Stamp and Clive Revill. (video)

4. CASINO ROYALE (John Huston, Ken Hughes, Robert Parrish, Val Guest, Joe McGrath; 1967) 3 stars

The only Bond novel not bought by the Saltzman-Broccoli team, "Casino Royale" was turned into a huge spoof by five directors and an all-star cast that included David Niven, Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, Deborah Kerr, Joanna Pettet, William Holden, Charles Boyer. (video)

5. TOP SECRET! (David and Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams; 1984) 2 1/2 stars

Val Kilmer as a rock star touring East Germany becomes embroiled in an unlikely revival of Nazi-vs. -French resistance battles and espionage -- and an "Airplane!"-like blizzard of deliberate cliches and wild gags. Not all of it works, but the scenes that click are hilarious. With Jeremy Kemp and Omar Sharif. (DVD/video)

Michael Wilmington is the Chicago Tribune movie critic.