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

Unrated  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  27 October 1988 (Netherlands)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 23,223 users  
Reviews: 176 user | 79 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.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ...
Gene Bervoets ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

27 October 1988 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

L'homme qui voulait savoir  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The production ran short on money for feeding the cast and crew during filming. According to George Sluizer, he went to some local French underworld figures who lent him money, but also threatened him, in case he wouldn't pay back. See more »


When in the car with his daughter, Raymonde leans over and locks the passenger door, but seconds later the button is no longer pushed down. See more »


Raymond Lemorne: The best plans can be wiped out at any moment by what we call fate. I confess, that saddens me.
See more »


Referenced in Ransom (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

You won't want to let your loved ones out of your sight after this film
12 September 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

There aren't too many scenarios like this one. The original version and the Hollywood remake of this film were both directed by the same man, George Sluizer. As I understand from popular opinion, this is one film that was fine the first time round, and not well received on the second go. I cannot fairly compare them, and I have no more desire to see the remake of "Spoorloos" than I do the remake of "La Femme Nikita", namely "The Point Of No Return".

I saw the original version upon the strong recommendation of a newspaper reviewer proclaiming it one of the most disturbing films they'd ever seen. The photograph of a young couple about to be torn apart in the paper reeled me in.

A pleasant holiday excursion goes horribly wrong when a man's lady friend goes missing at a crowded rest stop. He grasps at straws in desperation as very little can be done because few clues or leads exist. The abduction is arbitrary and nearly flawless.

The film was indeed well done and what struck me the most was the focus on that of the villain. It is a portrayal of a normal, respectable family man who trains himself in meticulous detail for an abduction. His cold, calculating approach is probably the most frightening aspect. His inhumanity is difficult to comprehend.

Many film endings can be shocking and may stick with you forever, and for a lot of people that is certainly the case with this film. That's why I was surprised to learn that the TV commercials for this film gave away the ending. However it didn't ruin the film for me.

The suspense and chilling setting of this film makes it hard to forget. The viewer constantly wondering, "What would I do?" or "How would I cope?". Impossible questions we all hope we'll never find the answer to.

Of course, keep a few handy responses in mind should you watch this with your better half when they ask the inevitable, almost rhetorical question, "What would you do if I went missing and you couldn't find me?"

"I'd surely die, dear."

55 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Noooo.. for once I've found a remake is better! EvilCensor
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