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The Vanishing (1988)
"Spoorloos" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 20,897 users  
Reviews: 172 user | 73 critic

Rex and Saskia, a young couple in love, are on vacation. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia is abducted. After three years and no sign of Saskia, Rex begins receiving letters from the abductor.

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Title: The Vanishing (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ...
Gene Bervoets ...
...
Gwen Eckhaus ...
Bernadette Le Saché ...
Tania Latarjet ...
Lucille Glenn ...
Gabrielle
Roger Souza ...
Manager
Caroline Appéré ...
Cashier
Pierre Forget ...
Didier Rousset ...
Raphaëline Goupilleau ...
Gisele Marzin (as Raphaëline)
Robert Lucibello ...
Teacher
David Bayle ...
Lemorne (16 Years)
Doumee ...
Lady 'Prisunic' (as Doumée)
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Storyline

Rex and Saskia are on holiday, a young couple in love. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia disappears. Rex dedicates the next three years trying to find her. Then he receives some postcards from her abductor, who promises to reveal what has happened to Saskia. The abductor, Raymond Lemorne, is a chilling character to whom Rex is drawn by his intense desire to learn the truth behind his lovers disappearance. The truth is more sinister than he dared imagine. Written by Matthew Stanfield <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

27 October 1988 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

L'homme qui voulait savoir  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The central plot of the film (and the novel on which it is based) is from an archetype Urban Legend related to the Paris Exposition of 1901. A woman and her daughter travel to Paris for the exhibition, and whilst the woman unpacks, the daughter goes to a nearby shop. When she returns to the hotel, the mother is gone, and no one in the hotel remembers having seen her. The idea also formed for the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938), Terrence Fisher's So Long at the Fair (1950), Robert Fuest's And Soon the Darkness (1970) and Philip Leacock's Dying Room Only (1973). See more »

Goofs

Raymond tells Rex that when he was a teenager, he jumped from a balcony and lost two of his fingers. However, the adult Raymond clearly has 10 fingers for the duration of the movie. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Rex Hofman: Saskia!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Double Jeopardy (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A European Hitchcock
23 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Vanishing" is one of my favorite movies, probably in my top ten. I first saw it in 1990 in San Francisco. Without giving anything away, the end of this Dutch/French film contains an extraordinarily diabolical twist, and at the theater at which I saw it, the projector crapped out with about 15 minutes left. Everyone was issued a free pass to come back, which I did the next day, having barely been able to get the creepy story out of my head. I couldn't wait to see what happened at the film's conclusion. Fifteen years later, it still makes me shudder sometimes. The American remake with Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland should, in my opinion, be avoided at all cost; the ending was changed, no doubt to suit the bottom-line aspirations of some brain-dead producer. But the European original is full of great acting (particularly from the villain, Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), a tight storyline, and, of course, a wickedly brilliant ending. It's a film worthy of Hitchcock.


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