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Bunny Lake Is Missing

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Genre  Mystery, Thriller
Language  English
7.3/10 IMDb

Director  Otto Preminger
Music director  Paul Glass
Country  United Kingdom
Bunny Lake Is Missing movie poster
Release date  1965
Based on  Bunny Lake Is Missing  by Marryam Modell
Writer  John Mortimer (screenplay), Penelope Mortimer (screenplay), Marryam Modell (novel)
Initial DVD release  January 25, 2005 (Bermuda, USA, Canada)
Cast  Laurence Olivier (Supt. Newhouse), Carol Lynley (Ann Lake), Keir Dullea (Stephen Lake), Martita Hunt (Ada Ford), Anna Massey (Elvira Smollett), Clive Revill (Sergeant Andrews)
Similar movies  The Rescuers Down Under, Transporter 2, Flightplan, Ransom, Freedomland, The Missing
Tagline  No one admitted while the clock is ticking!

Bunny lake is missing 1965 supt newhouse becomes suspicious

Bunny Lake Is Missing is a 1965 British psychological thriller film starring Laurence Olivier and directed and produced by Otto Preminger, who filmed it in black and white widescreen format in London. It was based on the novel of the same name by Merriam Modell. The score is by Paul Glass and the opening theme is often heard as a refrain. The English rock band the Zombies also appear in the film, in a television broadcast.


Bunny Lake Is Missing movie scenes

Dismissed by both critics and Preminger as insignificant upon its release in 1965, the film received a strong review by critic Andrew Sarris.

Bunny Lake Is Missing movie scenes

Saul bass title sequence bunny lake is missing 1965


Bunny Lake Is Missing movie scenes

American single mother Ann Lake (Carol Lynley), who recently moved to London from New York, arrives at the Little People's Garden preschool to collect her daughter, Bunny. The child has mysteriously disappeared. An administrator recalls meeting with Ann but claims never to have seen the missing child. Ann and her brother Steven (Keir Dullea) search the school and find a sinister woman living upstairs, who claims she collects children's nightmares. In desperation, the Lakes call the police and Superintendent Newhouse (Laurence Olivier) arrives on the scene. Everyone become a suspect and Superintendent Newhouse is steadfast, diligently following every lead. The police and Newhouse decide to visit the Lakes new residence.

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They find that all of Bunny's possessions have been removed from the Lakes' home. Ann cannot understand why anyone would do this and reacts emotionally. Superintendent Newhouse begins to suspect that Bunny Lake does not exist after he learns that "Bunny" was the name of Ann's imaginary childhood friend. Ann's landlord (Noël Coward), an aging actor, attempts to seduce her. Newhouse decides to become better acquainted with Ann in order to learn more about Bunny. He takes her to a local bar where he plies her with brandy.

Bunny Lake Is Missing Bunny Lake Is Missing Otto Preminger 1965 Movie classics

On her return home, Ann discovers she still has the claim ticket for Bunny's doll, which was taken to a doll hospital for repairs. Regarding the doll as proof of Bunny's existence, she frantically rushes to the doll hospital late at night and retrieves the doll. Steven arrives later and when Ann shows him the doll, Steven knocks out Ann and burns the doll, trying to destroy it. He takes Ann to a hospital and tells the desk nurse that Ann has been hallucinating about a missing girl who does not exist. Ann is sedated and put under observation.

Bunny Lake Is Missing Tim Robey recommends Bunny Lake is Missing 1965 Telegraph

Later, Ann wakes and escapes from the hospital. She discovers Steven burying Bunny's possessions; he has bound and sedated the child and hidden her in the boot (trunk) of his car. Steven implies an incestuous interest/relationship with his sister and complains that Bunny has always come between them; because he believes Ann loves Bunny more than him, the child threatens Steven's dream of a future with Ann. Realizing that her brother is mad, Ann plays childhood games with him to distract him. Newhouse, having discovered that Steven had lied to the police about the ship that brought the Lakes to England, arrives in time to rescue Ann and Bunny, and apprehend Steven.

Production details

Bunny Lake Is Missing Movie vs Book Bunny Lake Is Missing by Jake Hinkson

Adapting the original novel, Preminger moved the story from New York to London, where he liked working. His dark, sinister vision of London made use of many real locations: the Barry Elder Doll Museum in Hammersmith stood in for the dolls' hospital; the Little People's Garden School used school buildings in Hampstead; and the "Frogmore End" house was one that had belonged to novelist Daphne du Maurier's father Sir Gerald du Maurier. Preminger had found the novel's denouement lacking in credibility, so he changed the identity of the would-be murderer. This prompted many rewrites from his British husband-and-wife scriptwriters John Mortimer and Penelope Mortimer before Preminger was satisfied.

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As with the 1960 film Psycho, audiences were not admitted after the film's start. This was not common practice at the time and was emphasized in the film's promotion, including on the poster, which warned: "No One Admitted While the Clock Is Ticking!"

Bunny Lake Is Missing Bunny Lake is Missing 1965 Art of the Title

English rock band the Zombies are featured in the credits and on the film's poster for their contribution of three songs to the film's soundtrack: "Remember You", "Just Out of Reach" and "Nothing's Changed". The band is featured performing on a television in the pub where Superintendent Newhouse meets with Ann, and "Just Out of Reach" plays on a janitor's radio as Ann escapes from the hospital. With Preminger present in the studio, the band recorded a two-minute radio ad set to the tune of "Just Out of Reach" that promoted the film's release and urged audiences to "Come on time!" in keeping with the film's no-late-admissions policy. These efforts represent an early instance of the now-common Hollywood practice of promotional tie-ins with popular musical acts.

Home video releases

The movie was released on DVD in 2005 (Region 1) and 2007 (Region 2). On 2 August 2014, Twilight Time Studio announced an upcoming Blu-ray edition of the film, which was eventually released on 11 November.


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