Bunny Lake is Missing - (1965) Directed by Otto Preminger
Starring Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, Keir Dullea
Otto Preminger is the master of opening titles. Anatomy of a Murder, The Man with the Golden Arm, and now Bunny Lake is Missing; the opening credits to these films are executed so stylishly, Preminger's choices for soundtracks and design are really something else, they weren't ahead of their time (I won't settle for that cliche) No, Otto won't be simply judged as anachronism, he just made others notice how behind the times they were.
As good as the opening credits are, they are just that, the opening credits; and therefore only the beginning of this great film. Black and white never looked so good, unsteady cameras and long shots that kept you with unease while you attempt to resolve for yourself what's happening to the main character, Ann Lake, played by Carol Lynley. Preminger keeps giving you information, but its never enough to piece it together before the film does it for you, this is a good thing. I'd definitely plan on owning and viewing this film many more times.
There's something to be said about films in the 60s and the cameras that were available at that time, as well as cinemascope and color. Especially color, by the time this film was released, color films were finally at a place where it truly worked, this happened sometime in the 50s and it only improved. The manner in which this affected black and white films is both good and bad. On one hand, the cameras and cinemascope format made for such a beautiful black and white image on screen, in the hands of a good director and cinematographer (in thos case Denys Coop), this was such a treasure to the viewer. Orson Welles, I think once said, that a beautiful could not be made in color. I partially agree, I believe they could definitely be made now or even as early as the late 70s but in the 50s and 60s, this was the height of the power of black and white films. Proof of this, for me, is found in the fact that if you shoot a black and white film today it would still look as if it were filmed in the 50s or 60s. I could be wrong...
I'm no director or film buff.
I'm just a jerk with two eyes and an ego.