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The Vanishing (1988)

Spoorloos (original title)
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.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

27 October 1988 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

L'homme qui voulait savoir  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tim Krabbé, who wrote both the novel and the screenplay that was adapted from it, based the story on a newspaper article that he accidentally read about a female tourist who disappeared from a bus trip after buying chewing gum at a gas station in France. The police had searched for two nights without finding a trace of the girl. Ten years later, Krabbé did extensive research and found that the girl had turned up alive and well one day later; she had simply boarded the wrong bus. Krabbé even called her to thank her for providing him with the inspiration for the story. See more »


In the flashback near the end of the film when Raymond is talking to the old man near the coffee machine, the old man says he broke a bone in 1940 when he was eleven years old. Raymond states he then must be 59 years old in November, This makes that year 1988. But, at the beginning of the film when Rex is looking for Saskia you can hear the radio announcer talking about the Tour de France race that is happening and he says it is 1984. See more »


Rex Hofman: Sometimes I imagine she's alive. Somewhere far away. She's very happy. And then, I have to make a choice. Either I let her go on living and never know, or I let her die and find out what happened. So... I let her die.
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Referenced in Go (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant suspense classic
31 January 1999 | by (New Hope, Alabama USA) – See all my reviews

When I searched for "The Vanishing," all I could find was that abysmal "Americanized" version of the film starring Jeff Bridges. What a horrible mistake of a movie that was. Let's consider, instead, the original film in which a fellow and his girlfriend are on an outing when she vanishes without a trace. He becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to her. Whether he can be completely successful in his quest is the whole point of the movie. Why the original director would remake this little masterpiece in English with a Hollywood ending is completely beyond me. See the original. You won't soon forget it.

38 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Was Saskia really... bluntz_b
Original better? Really? spr13-403-795435
Rex's Not Drinking the 'Coffee' Options Audriano
Noooo.. for once I've found a remake is better! EvilCensor
Motivation behind... italdesign1976
Is this movie too scary to watch? amd8404
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