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Bunny Lake Is Missing

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Overview

Based on the mystery novel by Marryam Modell (using the pseudonym Evelyn Piper), Bunny Lake Is Missing is a bizarre study in motherhood, kindness, enigma, and insanity. Ann Lake (Carol Lynley), an American freshly relocated to England, wishes to drop off her daughter Bunny for the girl's first day at a new nursery school. Oddly, Ann cannot locate any teachers or administrators, only the school's disgruntled cook (Lucie Mannheim). She is forced to leave Bunny unsupervised in the building's "first day" room, under ...
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Overview

Based on the mystery novel by Marryam Modell (using the pseudonym Evelyn Piper), Bunny Lake Is Missing is a bizarre study in motherhood, kindness, enigma, and insanity. Ann Lake (Carol Lynley), an American freshly relocated to England, wishes to drop off her daughter Bunny for the girl's first day at a new nursery school. Oddly, Ann cannot locate any teachers or administrators, only the school's disgruntled cook (Lucie Mannheim). She is forced to leave Bunny unsupervised in the building's "first day" room, under the reassurance that the cook will be responsible for the child. When Ann returns in the afternoon, the cook has quit and Bunny Lake is missing. The school's remaining employees vehemently deny ever seeing the child, and Ann desperately calls her older brother Stephen (Keir Dullea) for help. Ann was raised fatherless and never married; she and Bunny have lived under Stephen's care and protection for the majority of both their lives. Stephen is enraged by the irresponsibility of the staff, but as Scotland Yard begins its investigation, it comes to light that he had never officially enrolled a child at the school. When Police Superintendent Newhouse (Laurence Olivier) begins to unravel the Lakes' lives and search their belongings, he discovers that not only did Ann once have an imaginary childhood daughter named "Bunny", but that the young Bunny seemed to have no tangible possessions at the Lake apartment. Bunny Lake (whom we have yet to see onscreen) may not be missing: she may not even be real. Terrified that Newhouse will now abandon the search for the girl, the hysterical Ann sets out to prove her sanity and, in the process, surprisingly uncovers the true psychosis behind the disappearance of her little Bunny Lake.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Otto Preminger dismissed Bunny Lake Is Missing as his "small" and "unsuccessful" project. Next to the director's behemoth, Exodus, and his jewel, Laura, the film certainly pales in scope and accolades. Yet in the years since Preminger's death, this insignificant mystery has become a cult favorite and a critics' doll. Cinema aficionados have rallied for its video release and scholars Jeanine Basinger and Andrew Sarris have shown it regularly in their film studies courses. Bunny Lake Is Missing really is an oddly compelling piece of work. The picture's veteran actors, Laurence Olivier and Noël Coward, embrace their own hamminess and play their eccentric characters with bravado. As a result, the comic idiosyncrasies of Olivier's detective and Coward's landlord never appear clichéd or boring. Keir Dullea, fresh from winning both a Golden Globe and a British Academy Award, is equally explosive and genuinely sinister as Stephen Lake. His true-life antagonistic relationship with Preminger comes through in his character -- Stephen is erratic, frustrated, and deliciously passive-aggressive. In contrast, Carol Lynley's performance as Ann is so delicately understated that the girl's alienation from her male counterparts is frighteningly palpable. In fact, Preminger's use of Lynley as the tortured young blonde is celebrated as one of the many blatantly Hitchcockian elements of the psychological thriller. However, while Hitchcock preferred to create drama by drawing attention to physical objects, Preminger does so by simply drawing out scenes. Each long take is a little too long, each silence is a little too lengthy, and each character seems to abuse his or her chance to talk. This combination manages to disconcert as well as mesmerize.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2005
  • UPC: 043396094666
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Carol Lynley Ann Lake
Keir Dullea Stephen Lake
Laurence Olivier Newhouse
Noël Coward Wilson
Martita Hunt Ada Ford
Anna Massey Elvira
Clive Revill Andrews
Finlay Currie Doll-maker
Richard Wattis Clerk in Shipping Office
Lucie Mannheim Cook
Megs Jenkins Sister
Victor Maddern Taxi Driver
Delphi Lawrence First Mother at School
Suzanne Neve Second Mother at School
Adrienne Corri Dorothy
Kika Markham Nurse
Jill Melford Teacher
Damaris Hayman Daphne
Patrick Jordan Policeman
Jane Evers Policewoman
John Sharp Fingerprint Man
Geoffrey Frederick Police Photographer
Percy Herbert Policeman at Station
Michael Wynne Rogers
Tim Brinton Newscaster
Fred Emney Man in Soho
David Oxley Doctor
John Forbes-Robertson Attendant
The Zombies
Technical Credits
Otto Preminger Director, Producer
Don Ashton Producer, Production Designer
Jonathan Bates Sound/Sound Designer
Hope Bryce Costumes/Costume Designer
Denys Coop Cinematographer
Evelyn Gibbs Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Glass Score Composer
Eva Monley Production Manager
Penelope Mortimer Screenwriter
John Mortimer Screenwriter
Martin C. Schute Associate Producer
Charles Staffell Special Effects
Peter Thornton Editor
Bernard Williams Asst. Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [8:35]
2. Little People's Garden [10:28]
3. Little Nightmares [6:34]
4. Supt. Newhouse [10:22]
5. "It's Like a Nightmare" [9:53]
6. Non-Existent? [7:13]
7. Extremely Seductive [7:46]
8. Brandy & Zombies [9:07]
9. Dolls [9:07]
10. Under Observations [8:28]
11. "She's Always There Between Us" [9:51]
12. Madness [9:28]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Play Previews
   English Subtitles
   French Subtitles
   Subtitles Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absorbing, literate and evocative.

    This fascinating mystery has been made in the tradition of Otto Preminger's classic "Laura", that established him as a top director in the late Forties. Since it would not be fair to spoil the film by revealing much of the story and particularly the ending, let's say only that Bunny Lake is a small girl, who turns up missing in London. At least, so her mother says. "Bunny Lake is Missing" is handsome, well- acted (especially by Sir Laurence Olivier and Carol Lynley - possibly her best performance) and exciting a slick melodrama from an exceptionally well-written screenplay by Penelope Mortimer, and a memorable music score by Paul Glass. Creamy smooth suspense with a genuinely intriguing premise.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews