Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)

Article 3675 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-22-2011
Posting Date: 9-6-2011
Directed by Otto Preminger
Featuring Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, Keir Dullea
Country: UK
What it is: Mystery thriller

In England, an inspector is called in to investigate the disappearance of the daughter of a single American mother who has just moved to the country. However, when he can find no evidence for the existence of the child at all, he begins to suspect that the woman may be delusional…

Otto Preminger was an interesting if uneven director with his own set of obsessions, and at one point in this movie, I found myself pondering a certain comparison between his work and Jesus Franco’s and then was startled when the movie suddenly dropped the name of the Marquis de Sade. As a mystery, this one is really not that tricky; you’re basically given two options (the child exists or the child does not exist), and if you go with the correct option, you’ll probably sort it all out before the movie spells it out for you. The movie may seem somewhat borderline in its fantastic content; the option that the woman is delusional certainly points to the theme of madness. All I’m going to say is that madness definitely plays a big role in the proceedings before the movie winds up. If the mystery isn’t difficult, it does manage to give us some good thrills before it’s all through; in fact, this appears to be one of the better movies from Preminger’s waning period from the mid-sixties onward. The movie also features a memorable performance from Noel Coward. All in all, this one is quite satisfying.


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