A woman reports her four-year-old daughter missing, but the police investigating the disappearance find no evidence the child ever existed.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 13-SEP-2005
Media Type: DVD
Nelson Aspen | Los Angeles & NYC, USA | 02/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since the gossips got wind that Reese Witherspoon might be doing a remake, audiences have rediscovered this shadowy, sumptuous period thriller that jettisons you back to the hip London of the mid 1960s.
Perfect casting (with the exception of one major player, whose identity might interfere with your first-time enjoyment, so I won't be a Spoiler) with La Lynley as the gamine supreme, Keir Dullea as her lookalike brother, Olivier as a charming detective and Martita Hunt & Noel Coward in amazing cameo performances.
Otto Preminger and Saul Bass bring marvelous mood to the pulp fiction novel by Evelyn Piper on which this was based.
Yes, it's dated...yes. modern audiences will find chuckles in the storyline holes, but all in all it is a marvelous movie beautifully presevered on DVD. But why, oh why, didn't Columbia get Carol Lynley to do a Commentary track!? This is her personal favorite credit and she has great stories share... If you get the chance to hear her speak on the subject, grab it!
Meanwhile, cuddle up with the popcorn and enjoy!"
Intriguing psychological thriller
Steven Sprague | Newport Beach, CA | 01/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Who is Bunny Lake and has she really gone missing? Perhaps the only thing missing is a bit of sanity! Without any visual evidence whatsoever, we are led to believe that Ann Lake(Lynley), a young single mother just arrived in London from America, has dropped her 4-year-old daughter Bunny off at a private school, leaving her under the supervision of the school cook. After meeting a couple of movers at her new flat, she returns to pick up her daughter to find that the child has gone missing, but no one, including us, can recall ever seeing the child. At this point, her overbearing brother Stephen(Dullea) literally bulldozes his way through the school delivering accusatory blows against the staff under the auspices of looking for answers. The police are brought in and an investigation ensues under detective Newhouse(Olivier) but instead of answers, only more questions surface: Is Stephen's "in your face" overprotection a facade or diversion? Does it have something to do with Ann having had an imaginary playmate called "bunny" as a child? Director Preminger presents us with a bizarre cast of characters all suspicious and therefore suspect: Wilson the nice-old-man/sadomasochist; Ada Ford the philosophical and sinister co-founder of the school; and of course the two principles, shell-shocked Ann and hypertense Stephen. Laurence Olivier delivers a subtle but calculating performance as the detective, and seems to be the only sane presence for most of the film. The music is a bit too jumpy at times but remains effective. The title sequences by Saul Bass are highly inventive and brilliantly set the stage for the film to follow."
BUNNY LAKE: you'll enjoy this 60's moody drama
Donato | La Verne, CA United States | 02/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having not seen this film since it came out in 1965, I was anxious to rediscover it. Turns out, my memory of it, after 40 years, had faded completely except for the fact that I did recall Noel Coward had a good cameo in it. (It's always fun to see people in films who are known primarily for something else. Watch Kay Thompson in FUNNY FACE for a top-drawer example of this!) The plot seems simple enough: Lynley's young daughter, Bunny, is missing on her first day of school in London. Is Lynley crazy? Does Bunny exist? Is Lynley's brother trying to protect her? What's going on? These questions are resolved somewhat jarringly at the end, but the ride is worthwhile. The black and white photography adds to the moodiness of the film, and check out the interesting Saul Bass titles. Then there's Keir Dullea as the brother. Ever since DAVID & LISA (one of my favorites), I've had trouble seeing him in most roles (my problem). He always looks to me like his nice features mask a very troubled mind underneath. This quality, however, serves him well in the BUNNY LAKE mystery. In fact, he reminds me (certainly not in appearance) of Willem Dafoe, an actor who probably can never effectively play a "normal" character. As for the acting in this picture, Lynley and Dullea aren't exactly Streep and Pacino, but they do okay. Some of the supporting performers, however, are just wonderful and really give the film a nice foundation. This picture is well worth the roughly one-hour-and-forty-five-minute run time. Wish there had been some extras on the DVD, but I'm happy someone even decided to put the thing on DVD in the first place."
Common Sense Is Missing
Vince Perrin | Stockton, CA USA | 06/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You know something is not right about this American brother (Keir Dullea) and sister (Carol Lynley) when they move into a 1960s London flat together. She cries endlessly, they comfort each other too lovingly, and she sits chatting on the bathtub while he's naked in it. But give Otto Preminger his due. The director has cleverly set up the plot and character twists and turns so that just how screwed up they actually are is almost believable. Of course, having an A-list supporting cast certainly helps.
Clive Revill and top-billed Laurence Olivier are the cool detectives who investigate the sister's claim that her child is missing on its first day in school. Mind you, we nor anyone else has seen the little girl; indeed, given the couple's behavior, whether the child exists at all is doubtful. Anna Massey and the incomparable Maritita Hunt operate the school, and no less a personage than the chi-chi playwright Noel Coward shows up as a seedy busybody pervert who voiceovers for the BBC. The casting director gets a gold star for this one.
Preminger is incapable of making a dull movie. His thriller is only slightly dated and has enough suspense and narrative thrust to mitigate the red herrings and occasional overacting. The jazzy score, the widescreen black-and-white cinematography, even the evocative Saul Bass titles (oddly rendered here in small screen), are first rate. The surprise ending only makes sense if you have not been paying attention. A remake is rumored, so try to catch this first DVD transfer to see how they change it. They always do, you know."
Bunny Lake is Missing
Laura Tanner | Vista, CA | 03/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a classic movie from 1965 and I loved it then and I still think it is great. Laurence Olivier's performance as the Scotland Yard Inspector is of course superb, but Noel Coward is great as the outrageous, lecherous landlord. "Bunny Lake is Missng" is one of those movies where you suspect everyone and it keeps you guessing until the end. I highly reccomend it and I hope that the upcoming remake is as good."