Bunny Lake Is Missing

1965

Bunny Lake Is Missing

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,522
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Movie Info

Based on the mystery novel by Marryam Modell (using the pseudonym Evelyn Piper), Bunny Lake Is Missing is a bizarre study in motherhood, kindness, enigma, and insanity. Ann Lake (Carol Lynley), an American freshly relocated to England, wishes to drop off her daughter Bunny for the girl's first day at a new nursery school. Oddly, Ann cannot locate any teachers or administrators, only the school's disgruntled cook (Lucie Mannheim). She is forced to leave Bunny unsupervised in the building's "first day" room, under the reassurance that the cook will be responsible for the child. When Ann returns in the afternoon, the cook has quit and Bunny Lake is missing. The school's remaining employees vehemently deny ever seeing the child, and Ann desperately calls her older brother Stephen (Keir Dullea) for help. Ann was raised fatherless and never married; she and Bunny have lived under Stephen's care and protection for the majority of both their lives. Stephen is enraged by the irresponsibility of the staff, but as Scotland Yard begins its investigation, it comes to light that he had never officially enrolled a child at the school. When Police Superintendent Newhouse (Laurence Olivier) begins to unravel the Lakes' lives and search their belongings, he discovers that not only did Ann once have an imaginary childhood daughter named "Bunny," but that the young Bunny seemed to have no tangible possessions at the Lake apartment. Bunny Lake (whom we have yet to see onscreen) may not be missing: she may not even be real. Terrified that Newhouse will now abandon the search for the girl, the hysterical Ann sets out to prove her sanity and, in the process, surprisingly uncovers the true psychosis behind the disappearance of her little Bunny Lake.

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Cast

Laurence Olivier
as Superintendent Newhouse
Carol Lynley
as Ann Lake
Keir Dullea
as Steven Lake
Martita Hunt
as Ada Ford
Clive Revill
as Andrews
Finlay Currie
as Doll Maker
Richard Wattis
as Clerk in Shipping Office
Victor Maddern
as Taxi Driver
Delphi Lawrence
as 1st Mother
Suzanne Neve
as 2nd Mother
Jill Melford
as Teacher
Patrick Jordan
as Policeman
Jane Evers
as Policewoman
John Sharp
as Fingerprint Man
Geoffrey Frederick
as Police Photographer
Percy Herbert
as Policeman at Station
Bill Maxam
as Borman
Tim Brinton
as Newscaster
Fred Emney
as Man in Soho
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Critic Reviews for Bunny Lake Is Missing

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for Bunny Lake Is Missing

  • Sep 16, 2012
    The ending pushes the limit on psychological credibility so far that it almost completely strays into unwanted camp territory, but before that its a simple mystery that possess an eerie uncertainty. Each character's motivations are in question from the moment they are introduced. So I think I can give it a pass, but not without serious reservations.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 23, 2011
    Pretty entertaining british film from the 60s concerning a american wo,man in london enrolling her daughter in a school, then when time to pick up, no acount of her, her motives along with her brother and also her sanity are brought into question by the police, as the investigation grows, it gets more desperate with evidence mounting on both sides questioning everyone in question, and although the third act reveal isnt a revelation, and turns the style of film into more of a thriller with the bad guy letting it all out, the film plays well, and it works with first half, and it rolls along nicely, its never dull, and while acting isnt top notch it never deters from film and a satisfying conclusion to it all
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2010
    Whenever I watch a good film and don't like it, I feel like I'm missing something. And this was one of those moments. Okay, not entirely true, I liked *parts* of it. The ending. Oh my god. Painful. I dunno. Mixed.
    Jennifer D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2009
    <p align="justify">Young ANN LAKE has just moved to England from America with her successful but controlling brother STEPHEN. The two are extremely close, with Stephen doting upon Ann. In a hurry the day she enrolls her child, BUNNY, in a private school, Ann leaves her with the school's female German COOK, then runs off to do errands.That late afternoon, Ann returns to the school to pick up Bunny. To her increasing dismay, however, no one at the school seems to know where Bunny is or even who she is. Ann interrogates one of the school's staff, ELIVRA, who hasn't a clue. When the arrogant Stephen arrives, he badgers Elvira further.Soon, SUPT. NEWHOUSE, an unflappable British police officer, arrives, looking into the matter. He talks with all parties involved, including ADA FORD, one of the school's elderly founders. The eccentric Ada resides in an upstairs room, where she's currently compiling a tome about childhood nightmares. Newhouse continues his investigation, tolerating the threats and barbs from Ann's increasingly accusatory brother, Stephen. But as Newhouse puts together Ann's profile, he begins to doubt her story in subtle ways. After all, since no one saw the child (the Cook has quit and has disappeared) he has to wonder if Ann even has a child. Is she delusional, perhaps? The insinuation infuriates Stephen, but he seems to back it up with references to Ann having had an imaginary playmate named Bunny as a child. Ann must now try to find clues that her child really existed. She must also fend off her creepy new landlord, WILSON, an aging homosexual actor who's always drunk and carting about his little dog. The POLICE interrogate him, as well. When Stephen comes across Newhouse talking to Ann in a pub, he blows up at the officer, threatening and accusing him. As police attempt to locate the Cook, Ann's nightmare intensifies. Desperate for evidence that will prove the existence of her child, she suddenly remembers the claim check for a store that's repairing Bunny's doll. In spite of the late hour, Ann goes off in a cab after telling Stephen where she's going. In the meantime, Newhouse and his MEN look into the travel records that brought Ann and Stephen to England. Ann finds the doll shop, which, although closed, has an unlocked door. She gets the doll from the PROPRIETOR. Stephen has followed her, however, and once Ann presents him with the doll and goes off to deal with the Proprietor, Stephen gets a crazed look in his eye and sets the doll afire. Ann is horrified. Ann follows Stephen to a remote location where he has Bunny hidden. Stephen is the kidnapper! Indeed, Stephen is so close to his sister Ann he found Bunny an intrusion in their relationship. Stephen has now lapsed into another identity - a more murderous one and likely an extension of their imaginary selves as children. He's now intent upon killing the child, so as to have sole access to his sister again. Ann tricks Bunny away from the demented Stephen by engaging him in a series of childlike games. Stephen chases Ann and Bunny, but Newhouse and Police soon arrive, arresting the demented young brother. They finally found the evidence they needed of the child's existence by way of travel records. </p>
    †HorrorFan† . Super Reviewer

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