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Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Thriller | 3 October 1965 (USA)
A woman reports that her young daughter is missing, but there seems to be no evidence that she ever existed.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

John Mortimer (screenplay), Penelope Mortimer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Remake of Otto Preminger's 1965 crime thriller.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Olivier ... Superintendent Newhouse
Carol Lynley ... Ann Lake
Keir Dullea ... Steven Lake
Martita Hunt ... Ada Ford
Anna Massey ... Elvira
Clive Revill ... Andrews
Finlay Currie ... Doll Maker
Lucie Mannheim ... Cook
The Zombies ... The Zombies
Noël Coward ... Wilson
Adrienne Corri ... Dorothy
Megs Jenkins ... Sister
Delphi Lawrence Delphi Lawrence ... 1st Mother
Jill Melford Jill Melford ... Teacher
Suzanne Neve ... 2nd Mother
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Storyline

Ann Lake has recently settled in England with her daughter, Bunny. When she goes to retrieve her daughter after the girl's first day at school, no one has any record of Bunny having been registered. When even the police can find no trace that the girl ever existed, they wonder if the child was only a fantasy of Ann's. When Ann's brother backs up the police's suspicions, she appears to be a mentally-disturbed individual. Are they right? Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A conspiracy of madness See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bunny Lake ist verschwunden See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wheel Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The children never eat the junket. See more »

Goofs

In one scene the character Steven Lake walks across a room and then walks back. In this very short time he has had a very nice haircut. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Steven: She may be a few minutes late. Will you please wait for her?
Mover: Yes sir.
Mover: Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The names in the opening credits are revealed by a hand tearing away parts of the black background as if it were paper, revealing the names printed beneath on a white background. See more »

Connections

Featured in Bunny Lake Is Missing: Carol Lynley Remembers (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Nothing's Changed
Written by Chris White
Performed by The Zombies
Played on the television in the pub
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Haunted Art
2 November 2005 | by warrenk-2See all my reviews

I saw "Bunny Lake Is Missing" for the second time last night at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. The first time was also at the Castro twelve years ago during an Otto Preminger festival. Preminger made a number of better films – "Laura" and "Anatomy of a Murder" come to mind – but I have a special fondness for "Bunny Lake" even though at times it drags and is overly talky.

Among the merits of casting Carol Lynley and Keir Dullea, it can be successfully argued that they look like siblings – often not the case in films – which works very well for this film, as does their ethereal out-of-body quality.

Criticism has been made that the role of Ann Lake was written one dimensionally and therefore offered Lynley little to do but weep and whine; but this may have been Preminger's intention to support that part of the plot that suggests Ann may not have a daughter and that Ann herself may be more than a bit unbalanced.

Dullea is an unusual looking actor who can photograph good looking or simply strange. Preminger used this well early in the film, although he seemed to lose subtlety as the narrative headed towards its denouement.

The film's superior black-and-white widescreen photography is one of its strengths. London locations and interiors are effective and impressive. I especially liked the doll hospital cellar sequence with Lynley holding an oil lamp as she moves about, the high angle shot of the backyard the begins the final sequence, and several sequences when characters pass quickly from one room to another.

The sexual subtext is not as hidden as it would have been in the 50s, but subtler, say, than after 1970; its ambiguity adds to the film's texture without getting in the way.

In fact, 1965 seems a perfect time for this film to have appeared since the cinematic fulcrum was still well placed to balance a filmmaker from older Hollywood who also enjoyed pushing the envelope. A little bit later, color photography would have been mandatory, and the characterizations would have moved into a much more bizarre, psychedelic arena.

Perhaps because of how its strengths and weaknesses combine, the film has a seductive, haunting integrity for me. As the film began with the Saul Bass titles and Paul Glass's score, I felt a pleasurable sensation of awe which I used to feel more often when seeing a movie, and which reoccurred a number of times in "Bunny Lake".

Try to see this film on a large theater screen to experience the full power of the black-and-white widescreen cinematography. Otherwise, view the letterbox DVD on a screen large enough to allow you to see details. There is much to enjoy in "Bunny Lake Is Missing", so don't miss out.


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