I’ve had this DVD for some time, and watched it once a long time ago. Last night I decided to re watch it. It’s a very strange atmospheric film. It stars Laurence Olivier, Keir Dullea, Carol Lynley, Martitia Hunt (the original Miss Haversham in David Lean’s ‘Oliver Twist’) Anna Massey and Noel Coward among others. This 1965 film has been billed as a psychological drama, a mystery thriller and was written by John Mortimer, Penelope Mortimer, based on a novel by Marryam Modell. It was directed by Otto Preminger.
It tells the tale of Ann an American single mother and her daughter Bunny. They have just moved to London and after enrolling Bunny in school, Anna leaves the girl under the Cook’s care because she has to meet the removal men. Later when she goes to pick the child up – there seems to be no record of her ever existing.
The story gets more and more baffling. Ann’s Brother Steven, (Keir Dullea) a journalist, lends a hand, filling the police inspector (Laurence Olivier) in with details. An old woman in the attic of the school who plays with the taped voices of children, a dollmaker with a house of dolls and the odd fact that Bunny is also the name of Ann’s imaginary childhood friend are just some of the baffling ingredients of this film.
Poor Ann – no one believes that she ever had a daughter. No one seems to have ever seen her (including the viewer, I may add) apart from her brother Steven. Another odd character in this film is the weird landlord, sleazy, nosy and creepy and played by Noel Coward – a strange fellow, but the least of Ann’s worries.