Kehr’s Weekly Recap: Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)

This paranoid 1965 thriller by Otto Preminger is one of his most darkly poetic and wrenching films, a reflective mid-60s return to the ghostly film noir style he developed at Fox in the 40s. An American woman living in London (Carol Lynley) believes her four-year-old daughter has been kidnapped. The police can’t do much to help because, try as she might, Lynley can’t prove to them that she ever had a daughter at all. Gradually it becomes clear that the subject of the investigation is not the missing child but the absence of love in Lynley’s own life. As in The Human Factor, Preminger approaches the mystery of human irrationality and emotion through logic and detachment; the effect is stingingly poignant. With Laurence Olivier, Noel Coward, and Keir Dullea. 107 min.

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