Edit
Spoorloos (1988) Poster

(1988)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (2)
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.
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu had some unorthodox methods to interact with his colleagues. He deliberately picked a fight with Gene Bervoets prior to their fight scene, so that Bervoet's rage would look genuine, and in the scene where he drugs Johanna ter Steege's character, he held her so tight that she could not breathe and really experienced a panic attack.
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.
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), Terence Fisher's So Long at the Fair (1950), Robert Fuest's And Soon the Darkness (1970) and Philip Leacock's Dying Room Only (1973).
The film was submitted to the Academy Awards in 1988 as the official Dutch entry for Best Foreign Language Film. However, the AMPAS disqualified it because they determined that there was too much French dialog in the film to warrant it being a Dutch candidate.
Entertainment Weekly ranked this as the 25th scariest movie of all time.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Gene Bervoets was genuinely locked up in a real coffin buried under loads of sand bags, so that he couldn't escape and his death struggle would seem convincing.
Director George Sluizer actually filmed an alternative ending in which Raymond Lemorne (played by Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) was caught by the police. This ending was never used or shown as Sluizer thought it would lessen the impact of what had gone before.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page