The Disappearance (1977)

Donald Sutherland, Francine Racette, David Hemmings, John Hurt,
The Disappearance is a movie starring Donald Sutherland, Francine Racette, and David Hemmings. Thriller about a contract killer whose wife has disappeared. When he is hired by an international organization to carry out a "shy" or...
  • 5.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Paul Mayersberg, Derek Marlowe, Writer:
  • Stuart Cooper, Director:
  • Producer:

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8 / 10

A haunting film about obsession and betrayal

This film does a fine job of putting the viewer into the position of the main protagonist, Jay Mallory. It isn't until the climax of the film when Mallory and Christopher Plummer's character, Deverell, meet that the viewer can understand the disjointed, roller-coaster ride that Mallory has been on.

The haunting piano music beautifully reflects the tension of the film. The support cast is made up of outstanding English and European actors who give the feel of the film the pace so often brought to the screen of excellent non-US films.

9 / 10

Canadian "Night Moves"

This film, done as a joint effort from the stellar cast and crew (script, cinematography, costumes, set design), is one of the best mystery, thriller-dramas, of the seventies. Ranking right along Arthur Penn's "Night Moves", "The Disappearance", in it's 91 minute, or better yet 101 minute director's cut, version is stylish neo-noir that glides perfectly through the story of alienation and betrayal, love and loss, mistaken emotions and gloomy memories, spanning between almost futuristic backdrop of Montreal, and rustic mansions and countrysides of Suffolk. Director's cut adds only a few nice linchpins to the story, explaining minor details, that are somewhat important to the plot, and without which, few things are left to our imagination.

Never really seen in it's real glory, as intended by the director Stuart Cooper, until the 2013 blu-ray release, that comprises both director's cut and 91 minute "third version" of the film,released in the UK, assembled by unknown author, as close to original as possible, retaining the feel, flashbacks essential to the film's structure and original score, director's cut and a "hatchet job" US version, "The Disappearance" is the best example of how a really good film can be mutilated beyond recognition, by an inept studio hacks. Making a linear plot out of non-linear story which is essential to the depth of the plot, is a true crime, and the rating that this movie holds on IMDb is the rating of the so called "US theatrical cut" which made this gem bomb at the box office after a single showing, and jettisoned into obscurity for over 30 years. The example of this, is also contained on the blue-ray in a horrid 15 minute long excerpt from the re-edited and re-scored U.S. release version of the film.

Now available as envisioned, (plus a non Hollywood ending) "The Disappearance" deserves it's place among the "must see" films. More than recommended, a true classic.

10 / 10

In the film, Donald Sutherland plays an international hit-man, set out to find his missing wife which is based on the novel 'Echoes of Celandine' by Derek Marlowe.

I was lucky enough to view Stuart Cooper's original cut of 'The Disappearance' which has never seen and is not available on DVD.

Just like his film OVERLORD which has been released by the Criterion Collection and become a classic, 'The Disappearance' holds it's own. The acting is first rate, the original music is lush and the John Alcott's cinematography is outstanding.

It is a shame that untalented producers are allowed to tamper with the original works. The original is in a non-linear format. Perhaps the reviewers should watch the original uncut/unedited version and then I would think they would revise their reviews. It is brilliant! Hopefully it will be screened at a festival in the future so all can enjoy.

6 / 10

Slow start, but go for it

I had never heard of the "The Disapperance", but then again there are very few movies from the late 70s that come to my mind at all. But I do like Donald Sutherland and I try to see much of his contributions to film.

This movie almost made me give up. I found the beginning confusing, the setting boring, and the flashbacks frustrating. However for Donald's sake I struggled through. The feelings I experienced may well have been the intended design.

As the story progresses, it does become more interesting. The plot has some nice changes and I found myself more encouraged to concentrate on the developments, and eventually was actually enjoying the movie.

I don't know if I would watch this a second time, but I am glad I survived it the first time. The ending didn't surprise me, but if you are a fan of Donald's as well, you should try "The Disappearance" and see how you feel at the end of it.

5 / 10

Passable movie about a hit man hired by a mysterious criminal organization

A contracted hit-man (Donald Sutherland) working for a strange organization (his contact is David Warner) discovers a rare link between his new target and his missing spouse (Francine Racette, Sutherland's wife on real life ) while they're living in their Montreal apartment.

This slow-moving film results to be a boring and confusing story that deals about assassin's preoccupation with the disappearance his wife . The picture is full with continuous flashbacks , suspense , twists and turns. Nice performance by Donald Sutherland as a cold and tough assassin . Good supporting actors formed by all-star-cast as David Warner, John Hurt , Virginia McKenna, Christopher Plummer, and David Hemmings, also producer . This unknown movie was a flop because of flaws , gaps and disjointed scenes . Colorful cinematography by John Alcott , Stanley Kubrick's usual , an splendid cameraman who photographed ¨2001¨, ¨Clockwork Orange¨ and ¨Barry Lyndon¨. Sad and melancholic soundtrack by piano music is composed by Robert Farnon. The motion picture was professionally directed by Stuart Cooper with pretentiously arty film-making . He initially directed cinema movies as¨¨ Little Malcom¨ and ¨Overlord¨ but went on making TV movies as ¨The hunted¨, ¨Fortunate pilgrim¨ , ¨A.D.¨, ¨Long Hot summer¨ and several others. Rating : Acceptable but tiring movie .