Just before the repeal of Prohibition, a father, desperate to save his Vermont farm near the Canadian border, journeys into the Canadian wilderness with his son hoping to score big money on a whiskey-running escapade.
as Quebec Bill Bonhomme
as Wild Bill Bonhomme
as Henry Coville
as Rat Kinneson
as Brother St. Hillaire
as Brother St. Paul
as Frog Lamundy
as Andre LaChance
as Little Gretchen
as Yellow Rose
as Origene LaChance
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Critic Reviews for Disappearances
It's an ambitious work and shouldn't be too readily dismissed for its semi-successful foray into spirit-land. There is much else to enjoy and a wonderful terrain to discover.
The movie has a literary quality, and not just because everyone's always quoting Shakespeare.
A marvelous, subtly crafted elegy to a bygone era that balances its scenes of violence and gunplay with laconic humor.
Labored, a bit of backwoods magical realism that wants to soar but never takes off.
Magic realism is a tricky thing to pull off in a movie, and Disappearances, the third of Mr. Craven's films based on Mr. Mosher's novels, only occasionally succeeds.
Craven never quite manages to make it all seem a smoothly integrated piece.
The beautifully photographed Disappearances is solidly old-fashioned entertainment.
If you're one of those people (like this reviewer) who can watch Kris Kristofferson do just about anything, you won't insist on the references being that solid.
Craven layers the film's central narrative concerns with mounds of metaphorical gunk, most of which proves more ponderous than entrancing.
Though set in Vermont in the 1930s, this has the feel of a Western -- one with mystical overtones -- and provides a great role for Kris Kristofferson, who's looking well weathered these days.
Jay Craven's stilted adaptation of a novel by Howard Frank Mosher lacks the urgency, the poetry, or the feeling for period that might have brought the material to life, while the cast seems to be largely squandered.
Shot for only $1.7 million, but it's a thoroughly entertaining, first-class job in every way.
The story might sound fine on paper, but it didn't quite work out that well when filmed.
A frontier spirit and a strong connection to the landscape inform the piece, which aims not to wow but to immerse the viewer in a mystical, hardscrabble, bygone world.
Audience Reviews for Disappearances
Honestly, I only rented Disappearances because there were a bunch of old people on the DVD cover and the concept of a Western filled with senior citizens intrigued me. The film didn't really deliver on that, sadly, and what could have been Actual Country for Old Men instead was made into a generic spaghetti flick with a dash of magical realism for flair.
The best part of Disappearances by far is the teleporting aunt, because hell, it's a teleporting old woman who spouts off Shakespeare and shoots people. You can't miss the potential in that. Also, the film looks great; even though it was shot on the cheap (budgeted at 1.7 million dollars), the director does an admirable job using natural scenery to create atmosphere. Unfortunately, that's pretty much where the unique parts of Disappearances come to a halt. The plot is some hoary nonsense about smuggling whiskey that gets completely dropped in the last twenty minutes of the movie to make way for shit randomly disappearing and some ridiculous subplot about a curse. I guess these seemed like neat elements to include in a Western, but they just didn't fit here.
The kid gave probably one of the worst child performances I've ever seen. Every line he delivered took me straight out of the movie, which wasn't that hard in the first place because it's not particularly gripping. They should have just put teleporting lady in his place and the movie would have been ten times better. The rest of the acting isn't bad; I guess Kris Kristofferson is important or something, which is why he ends up doing movies like this, right?
I've stated in the past that you have to kiss a lot of frogs when you venture into the realm of independent films. With that said, I must admit that we've had a good run of late and seen some truly outstanding movies. That run came to a screeching halt with this flick and I take full responsibility for having chosen this dog. One has to imagine that it was very well received in whatever art house it played in, but went over with a thud in our house. The two star rating is for the cinematography, set design and with the exception of one particular character and his henchmen, for the costuming.More
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