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Paul Mayersberg (screenplay)
Derek Marlowe (novel)
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Release Date:
17 September 1977 (Spain) See more »
A violent passion held them together. A passion for violence ripped them apart.
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
THE DISAPPEARANCE {Edited Version} (Stuart Cooper, 1977) ** See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Donald Sutherland ... Jay Mallory

Francine Racette ... Celandine

David Hemmings ... Edward

John Hurt ... Atkinson

David Warner ... Burbank

Peter Bowles ... Jefferies

Virginia McKenna ... Catherine

Christopher Plummer ... Deverell
Michèle Magny ... Melanie
Dan Howard ... James (as Duane Howard)

Robin Sachs ... Young Man
Christina Greatrex ... Secretary
Robert Korne ... Dominic

Michael Eric Kramer ... Peter (as Michael Kramer)
Maureen Beck ... Maid

Patricia Hodge ... Young Wife
Norman Eshley ... Young Husband
Mark Cogan ... Child

Directed by
Stuart Cooper 
Writing credits
Paul Mayersberg (screenplay)

Derek Marlowe (novel "Echoes of Celandine")

Produced by
Gerry Arbeid .... co-producer: Canada
Garth H. Drabinsky .... executive producer
David Hemmings .... producer
James Mitchell .... executive producer
Original Music by
Robert Farnon 
Cinematography by
John Alcott 
Film Editing by
Eric Boyd-Perkins 
Production Design by
Anne Pritchard 
Art Direction by
Glenn Bydwell 
Brian Morris 
Costume Design by
Milena Canonero 
Makeup Department
Antony Clavet .... makeup artist (as Anthony Clavet)
Martin Samuel .... hair stylist: UK
Production Management
Bob Presner .... production manager: Canada
Garth Thomas .... production manager: UK
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Caradonna .... third assistant director: Canada
Ken Goch .... second assistant director: Canada
Terry Marcel .... first assistant director: UK
Tony Thatcher .... first assistant director: Canada
Iain Whyte .... third assistant director: UK (as Ian Whyte)
David Wimbury .... second assistant director: UK
Art Department
Don Bradburn .... drawing props: UK
Chris Burke .... assistant art director: UK
Jacques Chamberland .... property master: Canada
John Davey .... painter: UK
Joe Dipple .... props: UK
Bob Douglas .... drawing props: UK
Bryony Foster .... production buyer: UK
Bob Hedges .... props: UK
W.C. 'Chunky' Huse .... stagehand: UK (as Chunky Huse)
James Kerr .... carpenter: UK
Laurie Kerr .... carpenter: UK
John Leuenberger .... property master: UK
Rose Marie McSherry .... assistant art director: Canada
Tanya Rosenberg .... assistant art director: Canada
Peter Verard .... stand-by carpenter: UK
Matthew Vibert .... prop master: Canada
Tommy Westbrook .... carpenter: UK (as Thomas Westbrook)
Jeff Woodbridge .... construction manager: UK
Sound Department
Bill Barringer .... sound camera: UK
Alan Bell .... dubbing editor
Chris Greenham .... sound effects editor
Robin Gregory .... sound recordist
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
Timothy Jordan .... assistant sound editor
Normand Mercier .... boom operator: Canada
Robin O'Donoghue .... assistant dubbing mixer
Terry Sharratt .... boom operator: UK
Special Effects by
Dick Hewitt .... special effects
Alan Whibley .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
David Appleby .... still photographer: UK
Jean-Yves Bruel .... still photographer: Canada (as Jean Bruel)
Douglas Connell .... first assistant camera: Canada (as Doug Connell)
Tony Cridlin .... grip: UK
John Daoust .... key grip: Canada
Colin Davidson .... clapper loader: UK
James Devis .... camera operator
Mathieu Décary .... clapper loader: Canada
Norman Godden .... camera maintenance
Normand Guy .... best boy grip: Canada
Chuck Hughes .... electrician: Canada
Dewi Humphries .... first assistant camera: UK
Emmanuel Lepine .... third grip: Canada
Ron Lyons .... electrician: UK
Monianne .... additional photographer: Canada
Don Saari .... gaffer: Canada
Larry Smith .... electrician: UK
Casting Department
Constance Brown .... casting: Canada
Esta Charkham .... casting: UK
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Pierre Davreux .... wardrobe: Canada
Tom Dickinson .... wardrobe
Erla Gliserman .... wardrobe: Canada
Editorial Department
Steve Spencer .... second assistant editor (as Stephen Spencer)
Denis Whitehouse .... first assistant editor (as Dennis Whitehouse)
Alan Willis .... first assistant editor
Transportation Department
Carlos Ferrand .... driver: Canada
Jonathan Goodwill .... driver: Canada (as Jon Goodwill)
Bill Griffith .... unit driver: UK
John King .... unit driver: UK
Terry Last .... driver: Canada
Joshua Nefsky .... driver: Canada
Bill Smith .... driver: Canada
Other crew
Trevor Bond .... titles
Susie Booth .... producer secretary
Monique Champagne .... script supervisor
George Cook .... caterer: UK
Maurice Dunster .... assistant: Donald Sutherland
Joe Elsner .... firearms master: Canada
Prudence Emery .... publicist: Canada
Carlos Ferrand .... production assistant: Canada
Jonathan Goodwill .... production assistant: Canada (as Jon Goodwill)
Ron Granton .... production accountant
Richard Green .... location manager: UK
Dan Howard .... location manager: Canada
Susan Kavesh .... production secretary: Canada
Terry Last .... production assistant: Canada
Rory H. MacLean .... assistant to producers
Heather McIntosh .... assistant accountant: Canada
Joshua Nefsky .... production assistant: Canada
Robert Paradis .... assistant accountant: Canada
Tanya Rosenberg .... production secretary: Canada
Nina Safdie .... personal assistant to director: Canada
Sally Shewring .... production assistant: UK
Bill Smith .... production assistant: Canada
Reg Tunnicliffe .... caterer: Canada
Sue Wall .... assistant accountant: UK
Gavrik Losey .... production consultant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min | Canada:88 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Sound Mix:
Canada:14+ (Ontario) | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) | USA:R

Did You Know?

Barbara Parkins was going to be in this project but was replaced before filming began.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) (TV)See more »
The Last EmbraceSee more »


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7 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
THE DISAPPEARANCE {Edited Version} (Stuart Cooper, 1977) **, 9 February 2008
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

Ostensibly, it should be hard to understand why certain movies slip into obscurity despite being loaded with talent, but then you come across a case like this one and the possibility suddenly becomes not just plausible but inevitable. On paper, this Anglo-Canadian "existentialist" thriller certainly had potential: an impressive cast – Donald Sutherland, David Hemmings, John Hurt, David Warner, Christopher Plummer and Virginia McKenna – was mouthing the words of screenwriter Paul Mayersberg under the guidance of director Stuart Cooper (the man behind recent Criterion DVD release, OVERLORD [1975]) and being lit by the late great cinematographer (and frequent Stanley Kubrick collaborator) John Alcott; besides, the whole thing was being overseen by producer Hemmings himself. So, where did the film go wrong?

Well, for starters, the central mystery itself is not very interesting: the neglected wife of brooding Donald Sutherland – the No. 1 hit-man for an enigmatic espionage organization – is forever threatening to leave him and does exactly that at the very start of the film; unfortunately, while Sutherland is very good in his role and literally the best thing in it, the actress playing his wife (Francine Racette) is as stiff and unappealing as one of her husband's handiwork. This fact renders the knowledge that Racette is none other than Sutherland's own wife in real life as well almost impossible to believe, since this is hardly borne by their interaction here – least of all during a fragmentary sex scene that ludicrously apes Nicolas Roeg's DON'T LOOK NOW (1973) which, of course, also starred Sutherland! Actually, I had seen Racette act previously in two notable films – Dario Argento's FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET (1971) and Joseph Losey's MR. KLEIN (1976) – but I can't really say if her efforts were any better there. For the record, THE DISAPPEARANCE proved to be Racette's penultimate film before retiring to raise her three children with Sutherland. Thankfully, although most of them are practically extended cameos, the supporting cast – of whom, I thought, John Hurt comes off best – does keep one watching…but, again, the utterly predictable double surprise ending closes the film with a whimper instead of a bang.

Equally to blame for the film's ultimate failure is Stuart Cooper whose direction is pretentious to a fault and, unsurprisingly, he too faded exclusively into TV-movie limbo soon after; for what it's worth, many years ago I did get to watch two of his TV ventures – A.D. (1985) and THE FORTUNATE PILGRIM (1988) – both of which were large-scale productions. Having said that, screenwriter Mayersberg is himself well-known for his non-linear scripts but the would-be audacious time-jumping techniques abused here merely attempt to imbue an obscure and thin plot with some elusive sense of significance; incidentally, even if the 88-minute version I watched was 12 minutes short of the original, I doubt that the missing footage would made things any clearer! Unfortunately for the viewer, Stuart Cooper is no visual stylist like Nicolas Roeg, much less a master film-maker in the league of Alain Resnais! Besides, given the structure and themes of the film, at times I couldn't help but unfavorably compare it to John Boorman's vastly superior POINT BLANK (1967)...

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