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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)

A single mother (Carol Lynley) has relocated from America to London with her 4 year old daughter. But when the daughter goes missing, no one recalls seeing the child and the police superintendent (Laurence Olivier) in charge of the case suspects the child may not actually exist. Based on the novel by Evelyn Piper and directed by Otto Preminger, this was Preminger's last good movie (he would go on to direct six more). Preminger specialized in mystery/thrillers in his early career. Movies like LAURA, FALLEN ANGEL, WHIRLPOOL, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS etc. before moving on to "important" prestigious films like ANATOMY OF A MURDER, EXODUS, ADVISE AND CONSENT etc. Fortunately, in this case at least, he proves you can go home again. He hasn't lost his touch and he imbues BUNNY with an atmosphere of classic B&W noir-ish style as well as a sense of Hitchcockian dread. My only problem and it's a minor one is with Keir Dullea as Lynley's brother. His casting is a little too obvious and he overtips his hand. There was some talk of Ryan O'Neal for the part and he actually might have been better. The lovely underscore is by Paul Glass. With Noel Coward as a creepy pervert, Martita Hunt, Anna Massey, Clive Revill, Adrienne Corri, Suky Appleby, Finlay Currie and even The Zombies show up. 

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