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

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 19,775 users  
Reviews: 166 user | 68 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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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Vanishing (1988)

The Vanishing (1988) on IMDb 7.8/10

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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

Plot Keywords:

abductor | love | france | cottage | kidnapping | See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 October 1988 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Spoorloos  »

Company Credits

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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

After the discussion with Lieneke and her departure, Rex sits in front of the computer and a mic is visible in the lower left corner. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
How powerful is this movie? You don't even need to see it to be disturbed by it.
22 August 2009 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I saw it with a friend when it was released. Then I went home and told my husband about it, and how impressed I was. He's not much of a moviegoer, but he's certainly sensitive to film: His favorites are The Third Man, Maltese Falcon, The Conversation-- all biggies. And when I rented "My Life as a Dog" and he started to watch it with me, he had to leave the room after the first ten minutes or so, saying, "This movie is going to be much too sad." Which, if you've seen that Lasse Hallstrom film, you know he pegged it.

Anyway, he asked about the plot of "The Vanishing." I told him, he listened, and that was the end of it. Or so I thought.

We're at a dinner party later that week, and I mention the movie. Someone asks about it, I start to describe it-- and my husband stops me. He says, "It's too disturbing to even hear the plot again."

I never mentioned it again. Nor have I watched it again, and don't think I ever could. But I am forever glad that I saw it that first time. A gripping story that demands more emotion from the audience than almost any other film I can name.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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