Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Bunny Lake Is Missing

(UK, 1965)

A 4-year-old girl goes missing from her London school. The police (Laurence Olivier) are called in and the investigation begins. Before long we are all wondering: Does this child really exist? No one at the school can remember her. We the audience never saw her. The mother (Carol Lynley) and her brother (Keir Dullea) begin to seem a little off-center.
Can’t tell you much more than that without ruining it all. Don’t forget, this was one of those films, like Psycho, where no one was admitted near the end of the picture. I will say that the story was extensively re-written because Otto Preminger didn’t like the ending of the book, so characters were changed or added or subtracted. And I will add that, whatever the original ending was, it couldn’t have been much worse than what we see here, which struck me as highly improbable and overdrawn. I’d issue a spoiler warning and discuss this stuff, but I’m not really interested enough to take the time. I enjoyed it until the last 20 minutes or so … but those are really the most important minutes in a film, aren’t they?