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The Vanishing (1993)

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The boyfriend of an abducted woman never gives up the search as the abductor looks on.



(novel), (screenplay)
3,969 ( 12)
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Linderman ...
Arthur Bernard
Miss Carmichael
Garrett Bennett ...
Cop at Gas Station
George Catalano ...
Highway Cop
Frank Girardeau ...
Cop at Apartment
TV Host (as Stephen Wesley Bridgewater)
Susan Barnes ...
Rich Hawkins ...


Barney teaches chemisty, and is planning to abduct a woman. Despite methodical planning and countless trial runs he always manages to mess things up. Then Diane, who is traveling with her boyfriend Jeff, unwittingly makes herself an easy target. The story is mainly from Jeff's viewpoint, as he searches for Diane. Barney watches him. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Obsession is the Ultimate Weapon See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror and violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El rapto  »

Box Office


$14,543,394 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kubrick thought Sluizer's 'The Vanishing' the most terrifying film he had seen-even more frightening than 'The Shining,' and it led to Kubrick 'phoning the Dutch filmmaker to discuss editing. See more »


When we see Barney behind Diane in the gas station shop at the beginning of the movie he is wearing his cast-arm-sling ruse, yet when he tells the story to Jeff as they drive along we see that when he meets Diane he is not wearing that at all. See more »


Barney Cousins: To me, to kill is not the worst thing you can imagine. There is more.
See more »


Referenced in Six Feet Under: The Dare (2004) See more »


Written by Ronald Wilson (as Ron Wilson), Robert Berryhill, James Fuller and Patrick Connolly (as Patrick Connelly)
See more »

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User Reviews

26 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Had I not seen the original Dutch film "Spoorloos" I might have given "The Vanishing" more credit. But it's a weak remake which gives American audiences all the gore that the original lacked and a reasonably happy ending which was nowhere to be found in the original.

"The Vanishing" is the story of Jeff, whose claustrophobic girlfriend Diane goes missing from a gas station and never returns. For years, Jeff is plagued with guilt and never gives up on the search for Diane, not even after meeting Rita, with whom he begins a serious relationship. But Rita soon becomes sick of Jeff's obsession and leaves him after a bitter confrontation. It is at this point that Jeff's obsession pays off and Barney comes looking for him. Barney knows what happened to Diane, because he is the one who kidnapped her. But Barney will only tell Jeff what happened if Jeff agrees to go through everything that Diane went through without knowing in advance what that might be. Jeff agrees and disappears, and now it is Rita who is obsessed with discovering what has happened to him.

This isn't a terrible film by any means. The performances are great, particularly by Keifer Sutherland as Jeff. His portrayal of the guilt-ridden, haunted man is near perfect. There are some great moments of comedy provided by Park Overall as Rita's friend Lynn. But "The Vanishing" lacks the power of "Spoorloos" despite a harrowing scene in which Jeff learns the fate of Diane firsthand, a scene which is identical to the original. Still, I don't understand why when a foreign film is remade for American audiences, it is almost always assumed that we want more gore and a happy ending, thank you very much. Both cheapen the story in this case. "Spoorloos" was a film of terrible sorrow and grim reality, both of which will (or at least SHOULD) leave even the most hardened horror fan shaken. "The Vanishing" is slightly less effective, going in for cheap thrills and a kick-ass finale a la Hollywood.

I would recommend seeing it ONLY if you're going to watch "Spoorloos" as well.

54 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Chessy ending.. Jake8761
Quoted by a hater of The Vanishing remake isabel27
The remake is better (sorry, pretentious film-school hacks) petevieira
I bet you didn't notice this, please respond if you did thepimpestsmith188
Great Movie! khirsch-44991
I'm Claustorphobic, I Have a Doctor's Note goose7933
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