6.3/10
19,779
118 user 42 critic

The Vanishing (1993)

The boyfriend of an abducted woman never gives up the search as the abductor looks on.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,714 ( 906)

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lynn
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Arthur Bernard
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Miss Carmichael
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Cop at Gas Station
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Highway Cop
Frank Girardeau ...
Cop at Apartment
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TV Host (as Stephen Wesley Bridgewater)
Susan Barnes ...
Colleague
Rich Hawkins ...
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Storyline

Barney teaches chemisty, and is planning to abduct a woman. Despite methodical planning and countless trial runs he always manages to mess things up. Then Diane, who is traveling with her boyfriend Jeff, unwittingly makes herself an easy target. The story is mainly from Jeff's viewpoint, as he searches for Diane. Barney watches him. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If someone you loved mysteriously vanished how far out of your mind would you go to find them? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror and violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El rapto  »

Box Office

Gross:

$14,543,394 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Bridges uses a fake arm cast to entice women into his vehicle - this is exactly the same method used by Ted Bundy in real life. See more »

Goofs

When Jeff starts writing the note to Diane that he's going to look for her, he puts no dash after "Di". Yet when you see him put the note on the windshield, there is now a dash after Di, and the handwriting is different. See more »

Quotes

Rita Baker: She's gone, Jeff. She's gone. You may never know how or why, you just have to learn to accept that.
Jeff Harriman: If Diane were here right now, I'd ask you to marry me. But the truth is, if I could turn back the clock to that day at the gas station just once, I would. Just to find out.
Rita Baker: It's not good enough. If you ever want to move on with your life, if you ever want to be happy again, if you ever want to really live,then this is your chance! I love you! But I have to know you feel the same, or else I'm gone...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Nightmare (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

SWEET RAIN
Written by James Michael Taylor
Performed by Texas Water
Courtesy of Old Hat Records
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User Reviews

 
So-so
26 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Had I not seen the original Dutch film "Spoorloos" I might have given "The Vanishing" more credit. But it's a weak remake which gives American audiences all the gore that the original lacked and a reasonably happy ending which was nowhere to be found in the original.

"The Vanishing" is the story of Jeff, whose claustrophobic girlfriend Diane goes missing from a gas station and never returns. For years, Jeff is plagued with guilt and never gives up on the search for Diane, not even after meeting Rita, with whom he begins a serious relationship. But Rita soon becomes sick of Jeff's obsession and leaves him after a bitter confrontation. It is at this point that Jeff's obsession pays off and Barney comes looking for him. Barney knows what happened to Diane, because he is the one who kidnapped her. But Barney will only tell Jeff what happened if Jeff agrees to go through everything that Diane went through without knowing in advance what that might be. Jeff agrees and disappears, and now it is Rita who is obsessed with discovering what has happened to him.

This isn't a terrible film by any means. The performances are great, particularly by Keifer Sutherland as Jeff. His portrayal of the guilt-ridden, haunted man is near perfect. There are some great moments of comedy provided by Park Overall as Rita's friend Lynn. But "The Vanishing" lacks the power of "Spoorloos" despite a harrowing scene in which Jeff learns the fate of Diane firsthand, a scene which is identical to the original. Still, I don't understand why when a foreign film is remade for American audiences, it is almost always assumed that we want more gore and a happy ending, thank you very much. Both cheapen the story in this case. "Spoorloos" was a film of terrible sorrow and grim reality, both of which will (or at least SHOULD) leave even the most hardened horror fan shaken. "The Vanishing" is slightly less effective, going in for cheap thrills and a kick-ass finale a la Hollywood.

I would recommend seeing it ONLY if you're going to watch "Spoorloos" as well.


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