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The Disappearance (1977)

Thriller about a contract killer whose wife has disappeared. When he is hired by an international organisation to carry out a "shy" or hit, he suspects they are connected with her disappearance.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jay Mallory
Michèle Magny ...
Dan Howard ...
James (as Duane Howard)
Young Man
Christina Greatrex ...
Robert Korne ...
Peter (as Michael Kramer)
Maureen Beck ...


Contract hit man Jay Mallory works for an unknown organization. He returns home to his downtown Montréal apartment one winter day to find that his wife, Celandine, is gone. Mallory initially thinks that Celandine has left on her own volition since theirs was a sometimes stormy, albeit passionate, relationship. However, words from Mallory's main point of contact at the organization, Burbank, indicate that Celandine's disappearance may be associated with Mallory's last hit. Shortly after their discussion, Burbank himself disappears. The organization assigns Mallory another job in Suffolk, England. Mallory has a feeling that there is something unusual about this job - he is given little initial information including not knowing who the target is - and that it too is associated with Celandine's disappearance. Despite feeling that he may be being set up, Mallory decides to take the job anyway to see how it plays out and if it leads him back to Celandine. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A violent passion held them together. A passion for violence ripped them apart.


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

10 May 1981 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Adistaktos dolofonos, tryferos erastis  »

Box Office


CAD 1,800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Barbara Parkins was going to be in this project but was replaced before filming began. See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


The Last Embrace
Music by Craig Huntley
Lyrics by HansJürgen Bauer
See more »

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User Reviews

Canadian "Night Moves"
27 March 2016 | by (Belgrade, Serbia) – See all my reviews

This film, done as a joint effort from the stellar cast and crew (script, cinematography, costumes, set design), is one of the best mystery, thriller-dramas, of the seventies. Ranking right along Arthur Penn's "Night Moves", "The Disappearance", in it's 91 minute, or better yet 101 minute director's cut, version is stylish neo-noir that glides perfectly through the story of alienation and betrayal, love and loss, mistaken emotions and gloomy memories, spanning between almost futuristic backdrop of Montreal, and rustic mansions and countrysides of Suffolk. Director's cut adds only a few nice linchpins to the story, explaining minor details, that are somewhat important to the plot, and without which, few things are left to our imagination.

Never really seen in it's real glory, as intended by the director Stuart Cooper, until the 2013 blu-ray release, that comprises both director's cut and 91 minute "third version" of the film,released in the UK, assembled by unknown author, as close to original as possible, retaining the feel, flashbacks essential to the film's structure and original score, director's cut and a "hatchet job" US version, "The Disappearance" is the best example of how a really good film can be mutilated beyond recognition, by an inept studio hacks. Making a linear plot out of non-linear story which is essential to the depth of the plot, is a true crime, and the rating that this movie holds on IMDb is the rating of the so called "US theatrical cut" which made this gem bomb at the box office after a single showing, and jettisoned into obscurity for over 30 years. The example of this, is also contained on the blue-ray in a horrid 15 minute long excerpt from the re-edited and re-scored U.S. release version of the film.

Now available as envisioned, (plus a non Hollywood ending) "The Disappearance" deserves it's place among the "must see" films. More than recommended, a true classic.

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