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  • 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
  • Original theatrical trailer

The Vanishing

2001 Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: George Sluizer
Starring: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege, Gwen Eckhaus, , Tania Latarjet, Lucille Glenn
1988 | 106 Minutes | Licensor: Cine International

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $ | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #133 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: September 18, 2001
Review Date: June 30, 2008

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A young man begins an obsessive search for his girlfriend after she mysteriously disappears during their sunny vacation getaway. His three-year investigation draws the attention of her abductor, a seemingly mild-mannered professor who, in truth, harbors a diabolically clinical and calculating mind. When the kidnapper contacts the man and promises to reveal his lover's fate, The Vanishing unfolds with intense precision, culminating in a genuinely chilling finale that has unnerved audiences around the world.

Forum members rate this film 8.5/10


Discuss the film and DVD here   


Criterion presents The Vanishing in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on this dual layered disc. It has been enhanced for widescreen televisions. Because of the aspect ratio black bars do appear on the sides.

The video transfer is decent, though not perfect. Colours look pretty good, bright with excellent saturation. Blacks are decent, but darker sequences look a little murky at times. The print is in pretty good shape, though marks pop up every so often. There are some digital artifacts and edge enhancement is noticeable in some sequences. Complex patterns can create shimmering effects as well. Sharpness seems pretty strong.

It has its issues but overall itís a good transfer.


All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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Criterion presents the original Dutch/French track in Dolby Digital mono. Itís a solid track, presenting fairly strong dialogue and music. It doesnít really reach to impress but it works for the film which is relatively quiet.



After being released on DVD by Image Entertainment, Criterion managed to get their hands on this film and unfortunately saw fit not to include anything but a trailer presented in 1.33:1. An essay by Kim Newman is included on the insert, which looks at the filmís twist on a genre, and also ponders on whether this film was a ďone-offĒ as Sluizer was unable to make another film like this, not even with the American remake.

I was actually quite disappointed by the lack of supplements. I have a soft spot for this film (and even a little place for the remake) and would have welcomed more about this film and even the remake, maybe even a comparison or a discussion with Sluizer. But nothing of the sort. Iíve always felt that this disc deserved a revisit, though I doubt that will ever happen.



Despite the lack of supplements, if you like the film this is still a good release. It has its flaws in the transfer department but itís still very watchable. Mildly recommended.

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