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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.

Director:

George Sluizer

Writers:

Tim Krabbé (novel), Todd Graff (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Barney Cousins
Kiefer Sutherland ... Jeff Harriman
Nancy Travis ... Rita Baker
Sandra Bullock ... Diane Shaver
Park Overall ... Lynn
Maggie Linderman ... Denise Cousins
Lisa Eichhorn ... Helene Cousins
George Hearn ... Arthur Bernard
Lynn Hamilton ... Miss Carmichael
Garrett Bennett Garrett Bennett ... Cop at Gas Station
George Catalano ... Highway Cop
Frank Girardeau Frank Girardeau ... Cop at Apartment
Stephen Bridgewater ... TV Host (as Stephen Wesley Bridgewater)
Susan Barnes Susan Barnes ... Colleague
Rich Hawkins Rich Hawkins ... Stan
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El rapto See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$14,543,394
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Bridges uses a fake arm cast to entice women into his vehicle - this is exactly the same method used by Ted Bundy in real life. See more »

Goofs

Observe the bicycles on top of the vehicle in during the opening. Several times the handlebars direction are changed. See more »

Quotes

Cop at Gas Station: Had you had a fight recently?
Jeff Harriman: Not a fight, a thing.
Cop at Gas Station: ...A thing?
Jeff Harriman: Yeah, a thing, don't you have a girlfriend?
Cop at Gas Station: Yeah. And what you think is a thing, you can bet your life she thinks is a fight.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Means War (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

QUITTIN' TIME
Written by Ray Benson and Tim DuBois
Performed by Asleep at the Wheel
Courtesy of Arista Records
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User Reviews

 
So-so
26 February 2005 | by GafkeSee 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.


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