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Blu-ray Review Bunny Lake is Missing Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Richard Gallagher, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    XenForo Template Bunny Lake is Missing Blu-ray Review

    Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake is Missing is a compelling psychological thriller which comes to Blu-ray from Twilight Time with an outstanding black & white transfer courtesy of Sony. This 1965 film features an intriguing performance by Laurence Olivier, a few numbers by the British rock group The Zombies, and a surprise ending.

    Posted Image


    Studio: Sony

    Distributed By: Twilight Time

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

    Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HDMA (Mono)

    Subtitles: English SDH

    Rating: Not Rated

    Run Time: 1 Hr. 47 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray, Other

    Standard Blu-ray Case

    Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 11/11/2014

    MSRP: $29.95




    The Production Rating: 4/5

    I just want to find one simple thing. One small, simple proof --- that Bunny Lake exists.Ann Lake (Carol Lynley) is a single mother American who has arrived in London to live with her brother, Stephen (Keir Dullea, in a rather bland performance). Ann drops her young daughter, Bunny, off at a nursery school called Little People's Garden, but when school lets out Bunny is nowhere to be found. The school authorities say that there is no record of her even registering as a student and no one at the school has seen her. After Ann and her brother have a disturbing encounter with an eccentric woman who lives about the school, the disappearance is reported to the police and the methodical Inspector Newhouse (Laurence Olivier) takes charge of the investigation. After Newhouse is unable to find anyone who remembers seeing Bunny, he begins to wonder if the girl might be a figment of Ann's imagination. And since the audience never sees Bunny prior to her disappearance, we are as much in the dark as any of the characters in the film.Bunny Lake is Missing was beautifully filmed entirely on location in London by cinematographer Denys Coop. The excellent supporting cast includes Noel Coward as Ann's creepy landlord ("Some would be honored, may I tell you, by my touch"). There is a wonderfully quirky performance by Finlay Currie as an old "doll surgeon" who says bizarre things such as "This doll had almost been loved to death. You know, love inflicts the most terrible injuries on my small patients."Otto Preminger, who directed some great films and a few colossal turkeys over the course of his career, stole an idea from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and asked movie theaters to adhere to a policy of refusing to admit anyone who was not in the theater in time to see the beginning of the film. In Bunny Lake is Missing he understands that having a child disappear is a parent's worst nightmare, a nightmare which is only compounded when everyone begins that doubt that the child even exists. Carol Lynley does a fine job - one of her best, in fact - as Ann, who either is paranoid or a victim of the worst kind of abduction. Olivier, of course, is always a commanding screen presence in whatever kind role he inhabits.


    Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The 1080p black & white image is encoded with the AVC codec and looks terrific. The film appears to be properly framed at 2.35:1. Blacks are inky, shadow detail is excellent, and an appropriate level of film grain has been retained to give Bunny Lake is Missing a very pleasing, film-like appearance. Sony rarely disappoints with its Blu-ray transfers, and this is no exception.The outstanding cinematography is by Denys Coop, and Preminger liked to create mood by subtly moving the camera around, which here has the effect of making the audience feel like participants in the search for Bunny.



    Audio Rating: 4.5/5

    The 1.0 DTS HD-MA soundtrack faithfully reproduces the way the film was heard in theaters in 1965. Dialogue us clear and understandable, and the excellent and evocative musical score by Paul Glass can be heard on an isolated score track. Other than the music there is nothing from an audio standpoint which will blow audiences away, but the audio could not be any better given the inherent limitations of the source material.


    Special Features Rating: 3/5

    The extras on the Blu-ray disc include a discerning commentary track with Julie Kirgo, Nick Redman, and film historian Lem Dobbs. Bunny Lake is Missing was not particularly well-received by critics upon its release, but its reputation has dramatically improved over the years.Also included are three theatrical trailers. One is a conventional trailer, one is narrated by Preminger, and the third features The Zombies singing an original tune about the film.As usual, there is an eight-page illustrated booklet with some typically incisive insights by Julie Kirgo, who is an enthusiastic fan of Preminger's work.


    Overall Rating: 4.5/5

    Andrew Sarris, film critic for the Village Voice, called Bunny Lake is Missing "a pleasure to watch from beginning to end." It not a perfect film, but it is an atmospheric and puzzling thriller which is full of quirky characters and sinister-looking locations. Viewers may or may not be able to guess the ending, but in any event the journey is a worthwhile one.This Blu-ray release of Bunny Lake is Missing is a limited edition of 3,000 copies. Readers who are interested in purchasing it should go to the Screen Archives website and confirm that copies are still available.


    Reviewed By: Richard Gallagher


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  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Okay, Rich, you have me interested. Going to watch this one!
     
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  3. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter

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    Just finished it Ron, and thought it looked (and sounded) significantly better than the 2nd run release print I saw back in '65. What a great way to be introduced to this still fascinating film.

    For an added kick, take another run at it with the Redman-Kirgo-Dobbs commentary...IMO one of their very best to date, and that's saying something. I mean, I feel like I've just finished reading 6 candid film essays in a row. Excuse me, while I go mop up the resultant brain spillage...whoa!
     
  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Yes, very enjoyable commentary. And I usually don't care much for Dobbs as a rule.
     
  5. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter

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    He was on fire in this one John. He even beat Julie with first use of the word "labyrinthine" (6:14 vs. 7:30). FTR, my money was on Kirgo in 5.
     

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