CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Best Hitchcock Movies (That Hitchcock Never Made) Blogathon: Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)

Dorian of Tales of The Easily Distracted and Becky of Classic Becky's Brain Food came up with this wonderful blogathon about movies similar to Alfred Hitchcock movies that were not made by Hitch. So once I heard about it I quickly signed up. Here is the link to see what other films are being done all week long. Seems a lot people were eager to join in on the fun.

Ann surrounded by dolls... a little creepy

My contribution is the 1965 film Bunny Lake Is Missing, directed by Otto Preminger. The underrated Carol Lynley is Ann Lake, a transplanted American woman in England, with a daughter named Bunny. On the first day of school, Ann arrives to pick Bunny up, only to find that no child by that name is registered there. You can just imagine Ann's shock upon hearing that. So the police is called in to investigate. Sir Laurence Olivier is police inspector Newhouse who wraps his head around this missing person case. Well that's what Ann calls it. Everyone else has their doubts. 

Ann and her brother Stephen

Her brother Stephen (Keir Dullea..very weird here) comes to his sister's aid, but he has some personal issues of his own. The main focus is on Ann and whether she is of sound mind. Does she really have a daughter? or she has just imagined the whole thing? Stephen backs up her story as he should since he is Bunny's uncle but things are not black and white.

Inspector Newhouse is on the case

You can feel the resemblance to a Hitchcock film when you watch Bunny Lake. From the everyone is a suspect scenarios to the woman in distraught. Of course most of Hitch's films had the leading man dealing with things but Carol Lynley is more than up to the challenge. Giving one of her best performances. It helped having a veteran like Olivier on hand too. He brings some distinction and quality to this film. And Otto Preminger is a seasoned director who knows how to keep things flowing. she real or imagined?

I don't want to go into anymore detail about this film in case some people haven't seen it. It's the type of film where you really can't talk about it without giving things away. So let me just say that Bunny Lake is a worthy film that Hitchcock never made. I think most people will enjoy it.


Dawn said...

I agree.. like a Hitchcock film, this film has many funny/qurkey supporting characters an beautiful cinematography.

Lasso The Movies said...

I have never seen this movie, but it does sound like something that Hitchcock would have made. Very much like "The Lady Vanishes" only with Olivier to help out. I also always wondered if Hitchcock was thinking of going of going this direction with "The Man Who Knew Too Much".Thanks for the great post.

As Tertulías said...

Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I, as a Hitch-admirer, will have to watch that... even tough it is a "Hitch"!

croftrod said...

Congratulations on choosing "Bunny Lake". It is a film that seems to have become overlooked in recent times - perhaps not a "classic" in the true sense but still an interesting film, and certainly one that Hitchcock could have made.
Besides a fine performance by Carol Linley, the cast contains a many respected British actors - Noel Coward makes an appearance - and the film itself attracted a lot of attention when first released.

Caftan Woman said...

The tense atmosphere of the movie is one of its best qualities. A terrific choice!

whistlingypsy said...

Monty, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I haven’t seen “Bunny Lake”, but your review reminds that I have wanted to see it for years. I’ve been told it has something in common with “So Long At The Fair”, a version of the story appeared on the Alfred Hitchcock Hour starring Patricia Hitchcock. I’ll definitely keep this one in mind when checking TCM’s schedule, thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

When I worked at a video store, we had this on many a time. I've never actually sat down and watched the whole thing, but what I saw was well-done, and I'm not always a fan of Preminger. I will sit down and watch this one of these days. Nice write-up.

Rick29 said...

One of my all-time favorites, Monty! It's a terrific picture that keeps one guessing throughout and Carol Lynley's slightly odd character is beautifully realized.

DorianTB said...

Monty, I've always found BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING to be quite eerie, almost surreal at times, with devilish twists I won't reveal, so I'm delighted that you chose it as your selection for our BEST HITCHCOCK MOVIES (THAT HITCHCOCK NEVER MADE)! Saul Bass' unsettling torn-paper opening-credits sequence sets the tone perfectly. Great cast, too, including Carol Lynley in one of her best performances, and a memorable supporting cast including Laurence Olivier, Keir Dullea, Lucie Mannheim of THE 39 STEPS, and Noel Coward, among others. Terrific post, Monty; I speak for my dear co-host Becky and myself when I say, thanks again for joining the Blogathon fun with us!

Ivan said...

Otto Preminger doesn't get the love he used to, so I'm glad you picked BLiM, it's quite the creepy headgame. The only thing I'd say is that people new to the film should listen very carefully, at least during the beginning (I would say a big clue is there in the soundtrack). But I will complain about the non-mention of The Zombies performing "She's Not There."

Have you seen Preminger's Angel Face (1953)? I think you'd like it.

Jeff Flugel said...

Cool post about an intriguing sounding film! I've yet to catch up with BUNNY LAKE but it's been on my radar for quite some time now. It does look quirky and eerie, as others have described. Carol Lynley and Keir Dullea both have a bit of a Stepford vibe going on there, a couple of almost too perfect, blonde mannequins.

Silver Screenings said...

This looks terrific! You've done a great job with this review & didn't give too much away for those who haven't yet seen it (like me). :)

FlickChick said...

Great choice, Monty! This is one of those 60s films that just gets better with time. Keir Dullea is, indeed, creepy and so good to see Sir Larry in a good role. Loved your post.


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