7.8/10
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187 user 88 critic

The Vanishing (1988)

Spoorloos (original title)
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.

Director:

George Sluizer

Writers:

Tim Krabbé (novel), Tim Krabbé (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ... Raymond Lemorne
Gene Bervoets ... Rex Hofman
Johanna ter Steege ... Saskia Wagter
Gwen Eckhaus Gwen Eckhaus ... Lieneke
Bernadette Le Saché Bernadette Le Saché ... Simone Lemorne
Tania Latarjet Tania Latarjet ... Denise
Lucille Glenn Lucille Glenn ... Gabrielle
Roger Souza Roger Souza ... Manager
Caroline Appéré Caroline Appéré ... Cashier
Pierre Forget Pierre Forget ... Farmer Laurent
Didier Rousset Didier Rousset ... TV Journalist
Raphaëline Goupilleau Raphaëline Goupilleau ... Gisele Marzin (as Raphaëline)
Robert Lucibello Robert Lucibello ... Teacher
David Bayle David Bayle ... Lemorne (16 Years)
Doumee Doumee ... Lady 'Prisunic' (as Doumée)
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Storyline

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 <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Dutch | French | English

Release Date:

27 October 1988 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vanishing See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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). See more »

Goofs

After the discussion with Lieneke and her departure, Rex sits in front of the computer and a mic is visible in the lower left corner. See more »

Quotes

Raymond Lemorne: My daughter was bursting with pride. But I thought that her admiration wasn't worth anything unless I could prove myself absolutely incapable of doing anything evil. And as black cannot exist without white, I logically conceived the most horrible deed that I could envision right at that moment. But I want you to know, for me killing is not the worst thing.
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Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You won't want to let your loved ones out of your sight after this film
12 September 1999 | by ToldYaSoSee 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."


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