“Curiouser and curiouser.”
In London, a young American (Keir Dullea) tries to help his unwed sister (Carol Lynley) find her missing daughter, Bunny.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Carol Lynley Films
- Keir Dullea Films
- Laurence Olivier Films
- Mental Illness
- “No One Believes Me!”
- Otto Preminger Films
- Single Mothers
Response to Peary’s Review:
This atmospheric, well-acted thriller — a “cult variation on So Long at the Fair” — plays upon two of our deepest fears: losing a child, and not being believed in a life-or-death situation. As Peary notes, director Otto Preminger “makes a strong point about the difficulty aliens (Americans in England, unwed mothers) have getting help”, and bravely deals in his script with issues such as “illegitimacy, homosexuality, and incest”; meanwhile, his “camera work has a feverish intensity” which keeps one consistently engaged. Though many critics seem to dislike the film’s gut-wrenching denouement (which “diverges from Evelyn Piper’s [source] novel”), I’ll admit I was so caught up in the story that I was easily able to overlook any gaps in logic or consistency.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Creative opening titles by Saul Bass
- A suspenseful mystery with lots of “red herrings”
- Effective use of strange locales (such as the “doll hospital”)
- Laurence Olivier’s understated performance as a police detective on the case
Yes. Though it’s not as famous as other Preminger classics, this cult thriller is well worth watching.