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Going nowhere, three losers decide to plan an elaborate kidnapping of a school bus load of children. The sad thing is, they actually go through with it, and things rapidly spiral out of control. The adult acting includes a fine, believable, performance from Karl Malden, as the school bus driver. The non actors, including all of the children, are spectacularly unimpressive. Nevertheless, despite some required "feel good" subplots, the story maintains interest. For those that demand a certain amount of realism in their entertainment, "Vanished Without a Trace" will provide a satisfying viewing experience. I know I liked it. Recommended - MERK
I was in this movie with Karl Malden and he was a great man to work with. I was in the first grade when it was filmed. I actually didn't even want to be in the movie. I was scared and didn't really know what to expect. But it was all worth it and I don't regret anything and I can say I've done something not a lot of people have. I had a lot of fun and it was worth all the long days I put in. Everybody I worked with was wonderful. I didn't really have a speaking part, but I did get to tell my Barbie to "shhhhh" when we were getting in trouble for being loud on the bus. I hope everyone that watches it, enjoys it just as much as I did making it.
A brilliant cast featuring Oscar Winner Karl Malden as a school bus driver who gets hijacked with the young students in rural California by three young criminals who plan a careful school bus hijacking but everything goes wrong no matter how well planned you orchestrate such a horrendous crime. The children and the bus driver played by Karl Malden are taken and held against their will despite the children's pleas, cries, and fear when they are placed in a dark, hot below ground in a secret location by the criminals. Suddenly, things start to go bad. I couldn't want too much more. I just kept thinking about the children being kidnapped and held for so long. It's based on a true story of an event in rural California in the 1970s.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I managed to catch this TV Movie a couple of days ago . In essence it relates to true incident involving the kidnapping of a bus load of children and their driver in the small town of Chowchilla , California in 1976 and the failed bid for a ransom . Karl Malden plays the kind hearted driver of the school bus who eventually becomes the children's saviour : Malden is excellent in this part and portrays it with conviction in what is a pretty lame tele-reproduction of the incident . Little is offered in the way of painting a picture of the background to the kidnappers and their motives . This aside , Malden does a fair job and the general horror of the parents waiting for news of their children's' fate is shown well . There's some fine interaction between Ed Ray (Malden) and his charges ,sadly few of these child actors seem to have featured in much else . This movie is always worth a look , especially when you consider that years on many of the real children involved continue to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder .
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