Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) Script

She may be a little late. Will you please wait for her?

Yes, sir. Thank you.

Good morning.

Well, what complaint have you got to add to the world's misery?

No complaints at all. That is... Then you can't be a teacher.

If you are not a teacher, you've got no right in my kitchen.

Do you know what this is? It looks like junket.

But when it looks like junket, it is junket.

You know what Miss Elvira said about it? No, but I...

She said, Really, dear, can't we admit the junkets just the weest bit poor?

You know what I said? No, but I would like...

I said, it's just as stupid to talk about poor junket... as it is to talk about good junket.

Junket is junket, I said, and no matter what you do with it... it still tastes like swill and swallows like slime.

Haven't seen you around here before, have I?

No, my little girl is just entering today, and I can't find anyone to turn her over to.

No, of course you can't.

What little discipline there was among these junket-eaters... went to hell the day Miss Benton was taken to hospital.

We've only just arrived in England a few days ago... and I have an appointment to let the moving men into our new apartment...

Everybody has his troubles. Where's your little girl?

In the First Day room. When I telephoned to say we'd be late... they said I should take her to the First Day room.

Isn't that a cute name for it?

The teachers will be down at the 10:00 bell.

That's only 10 minutes. I'll look after her till then.

Maybe I'd better wait until the teacher...

No, nonsense, you just go. You'll be late.

Her name is Bunny Lake. And she's in... Yes, I know. The First Day room.

Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

I'm sorry I'm late. Have you been waiting long?

Only a bit, ma'am. It's quite all right.

These three bags go upstairs into the smaller bedroom.

And those go into the large bedroom. Righto, ma'am.

Yes? Hi!

Hello, Steven.

I wanted to check if you got there all right.

Of course I got here. They're unloading.

I'm sorry I can't help you, darling... but some Congolese general is flying in. I've got to cover it.

New York thinks there may be a student demonstration at the airport.

How did you like the school?

I don't know yet. I didn't see anybody.

The Armstrongs sent their kids to the same school.

They came home bleeding only twice. Seriously, it's a good school.

Please be on time for dinner. I'm making fried chicken just for you.

I'll be home at 6:30 sharp. Love you. Bye-Bye.

The books stay in here... and the typewriter goes on top of the desk.

And this carton goes in the kitchen.

Thank you. You've been such a help.

I'm still trying to figure out your money. Is that all right?

You're doing beautifully, if I might say so.

One is more than generous. Goodbye. What's wrong with you?

You must be bonkers. Why, thank you.

Is somebody... Hear that, Samantha?

Our new tenants have arrived.

Hello. We've come back from wettest Worcestershire...

Samantha and I. This is Samantha.

If we hadn't been away, we'd have organized a small... but vociferous reception committee.

Who are you?

Among other things, your new landlord and friend.

I hope my little African faces didn't disturb you.

Of course not. I'm sorry, but I do have a lot of unpacking to do.

Carry on. Thank you.

This one was a gift from my fan club in Ghana.

You can wear it, if you like.

I believe it's marvelous for fertility.

That's not exactly my problem, Mister... Wilson.

Wilson. Horatio Wilson.

Poet, playwright... dropper of alcoholic bricks, also.

Am I totally unknown to you?

We've just arrived in England.

From Siberia, I presume.

That might possibly explain your bizarre ignorance.

Mr. Wilson, I hope you'll forgive me... but I really must get my marketing done.

I have other African heads, small pickled ones, in my apartment.

Do drop in anytime you'd care to meet some unsuccessful politicians.

Thank you. That would be lovely. Now I really must go.

A bientot, duchess.

Wave, Samantha. Go on, wave to the nice young lady.

They're late. It's absolute chaos with Miss Benton away.

I don't know. Elvira seems to be coping manfully.

I'm not altogether sure. Jamie lost his socks again yesterday.

Socks just don't disappear into thin air.

It's obvious she put them on some other child who came without socks.

Not tremendously encouraging.

Excuse me. Have you got a minute? A lifetime. Can I help you?

It's about my little girl. She just entered today... and I'd like to meet her teacher. When there's time, of course.

Her teacher will be with the class when it comes down.

Good afternoon.

I beg your pardon. Could you tell me where the fours are?

The fours are packing up. These are the babies.

What a big boy Jamie is.

And what a heartbreaker. When we saw him this morning... in the First Day room, my Bunny just about fell in love with him.

She'd have fallen out soon enough. He's got a foul temper. Bye-bye, now.

Hello, darling.

Had a nice morning?

Excuse me, what class is your little girl in?

The fours. So is mine, but I can't seem to find her.

Miss Daphne's in charge of the fours. She could tell you.

I don't see her, though. Sort of tall, and dark, and 30-ish.

That's the classroom up there.

But I don't see Miss Daphne.

Thank you very much. Goodbye.

Are you looking for something?

Of course I'm looking for something. What did you think I was doing?

I can't always tell.

I'm looking for my daughter, Bunny Lake.

How old is she? Four.

The fours have already left.

I know, only Bunny wasn't with them.

Are you Miss Daphne?

No. Miss Daphne has a bad tooth and went screaming off to the dentist.

Anyhow, you're in the three room, the fours are next door.

I've been there. It's empty.

It's Bunny's first day... Perhaps she's gone down for her dinner.

But she's not supposed to stay for lunch. Did you tell us that this morning?

No. You see, we were late...

We can't be expected to read your mind, can we?

Come along. We'll have a look-see.

Is Bunny here?

Is a Bunny Lake here, please?

What's she look like, Dorothy?

I don't know that I've ever seen the girl.

She has red tights and a white blouse with short sleeves... and a blue pinafore dress. She's blonde, and... don't you watch the children here? Isn't anybody in charge?

We'll find her. Don't worry.

Haven't you seen a little girl called Bunny?

No. About your age?

No. A new girl.

With a dress, just like yours.

There's no point in questioning the children.

What do you mean, no point?

It's my child, my little girl, not some lost pair of socks.

Please, Mrs. Lake. We mustn't get emotional.

I don't need your advice. I want my child.

Who's in charge of this madhouse?

All I need is someone who can cook, and by tomorrow morning.

Will you take a Spanish girl?

I want her to cook, not speak English.

She won't take less than 'L8. 10.

We'll have to pay it then, won't we?

Are you the one... Just a moment.

Shall I send her to see you? Yes. Send her by 8:00 tomorrow.

Right. Lopez is the name. Thank you, Mrs. Twigg.

The cook walked out just because I said something about the junket.

That may be the least of our worries, Elvira.

The cook who walked out, is she a German woman?

That's one way to describe her. What time did the cook leave?

Around 11:15, I suppose. It was in the middle of cooking lunch.

Brace yourself, Elvira.

We can't seem to put our hands on one of the children.

Which one? My little girl. Bunny Lake.

I don't recall any Bunny, or any Lake.

But you're the one I spoke to on the telephone.

I recognize your voice. When was this?

This morning. Don't you remember?

I telephoned because it was Bunny's first day and we were late.

Yes, now I remember.

And I took her to the First Day room, just as you told me to.

But now we don't seem to be able to find her.

How old is she? She's a four.

The fours are all gone home ages ago, except those that stay to dinner.

Will you all please stop saying that?

The fours are not all on their way home. Mine isn't, and she isn't at dinner, either.

If she's a four, I imagine Miss Daphne would...

Miss Daphne went home with a toothache!

You don't seem to know very much about what goes on here.

A child who's been placed in your... London office. Can I help you?

Mr. Steven Lake, please.

She couldn't have walked out that way.

She couldn't have walked out at all. What do you mean by that?

If she couldn't have walked out by herself, then someone took her.

Is that what you're saying? Of course not.

I assume you regulate who comes into this school and who doesn't.

People don't just wander in off the street, do they?

Certainly not. We keep... Then listen to me for a minute.

Shortly before 10:00, Bunny was brought into this room.

A little boy about 18 months old was playing here.

Yes, and I saw the boy later in the hall with his mother.

The cook promised to keep an eye on her until the 10:00 recess.

Listen to me.

We all agree she couldn't have got out of this room by herself.

Barring witchcraft, that can only mean someone took her out, correct?

I don't know. I mean... I do.

If you'd stop defending yourself for a minute, Miss...

Smollett, and I'm not defending myself.

If you would worry less about yourself and more about this child... you seem to have misplaced, we might begin to get somewhere.

Since she couldn't have gone out by herself, it means someone took her out.

The question is who. Who took the child out of here?

Think about it. Calm down and begin to think.

How can I when you scream at me?

Forgive me, we're all a little overexcited. What I was going to say is... even though someone did take her out of this room... it doesn't necessarily mean they took her out of the school, too.

In which event she'd still be here. The question is where.

Have you searched the place?

Of course we have. Maybe we'll have better luck.

Your track record, just for today, hasn't been too dazzling.

So you don't mind if we look for ourselves, do you?

Not at all. I'll be in the office if you should need me.

Don't worry, Annie. We'll find her.

We'll start on the top floor and we'll work our way down.

What's up there? Miss Benton's private flat.

We thought Miss Benton was in the hospital.

I told you, it's a private flat.

She could have easily run up here. Listen.

It was an underground train But there was nobody on it... except this dog.

It was the giants dog, really. He didn't know that he was on the train.

And this dog had great Big... huge eyes and the most awful teeth.

Who is it?

But this dog had hundreds of teeth, just to mash you up with.

To mash you right up and...

Such imagination.

We might think of teeth gnashing.

But mashing... Which is exactly what they do, of course.

Are you parents? We don't usually see parents up here.

We're looking for a four-year-old girl named Bunny Lake.

Have they lost one? How careless.

Are you Miss Benton? No, not at all.

I am Miss Ford.

Miss Benton and I started this school together, but now I'm retired... except for my book.

I'm writing a book on children's fantasies.

Would you like a cigarette? No, thank you.

I have all their little nightmares on my tape machine.

You don't have bars on these windows. All the other windows have bars.

The children aren't meant to come up here now.

Elvira thinks I may frighten them by asking about their dreams.

But I'll tell you something in confidence.

Every now and again, one brave child slips through the defenses.

So, let's hunt, shall we?

Now, what's her name?

Her real name is Felicia, but we've always called her Bunny.

We have to call, although very often when they hear the calling... they hide and laugh at us.

This woman is crazy.

Don't you think we all are, to one degree or another?

Crazy, I mean. Especially children.

That's why with a child you have to think of everything.

Your little girl has probably gone to sleep somewhere.

Yes, you're probably right.

She does take a nap every afternoon.

But where?

Perhaps she's been frightened.

They do go to sleep sometimes after a bad fright.

Quite sensible of them, too.

What could have happened to frighten her? Who could say?

What happened to her? What are you hinting at?

That something happened to Bunny? Easy, honey.

Miss Ford, if you do know something, please level with us.

I wouldn't want to embarrass you.

Embarrass me? How would you do that? By calling the police.

What an enchanting idea. The telephone is in here.

Dreadful painting of Madge, this.

Makes her look like Mother Earth or something.

You wouldn't mind my calling the police?

It's exactly what I should do myself were I the child's father.

I'm not her father, I'm her uncle. Ann is my sister.

Curiouser and curiouser.

You've no right to come up here. Absolutely no right at all.

We have every right in the world to be here, or any other place in this building.

You seem to have been a little careless, Elvira.

Call the police, Steve. The police? No, Mr. Lake. Please.

Miss Benton wouldn't like that. She just wouldn't have it.

Au contraire. I'm sure Madge would want us to protect our good name.

Please, we can look again. I've rung up Miss Daphne.

She'll be back from the dentist within half an hour.

I'm sure she can explain everything.

Miss Benton wouldn't want the police dragged into The Little Peoples Garden.

Unbelievable. It's their free play.

What are they doing? Exactly as they like.

Expressing themselves.

They must find that tremendously hard work.

Don't you want to look anywhere else?

No, I don't think so. I've got men peering about all over the shop.

I just wanted to get to understand the place a little.

Miss Daphne Musgrave? Yes.

How's the tooth feeling now?

Better, thank you. Good.

I swear to God...

if only she's all right...

I'll never let her out of my sight again... as long as I live.

You'll feel pretty silly along about the time she's hitting 30.

It's all my fault.

I never should have left her here. Never.

Supt. Newhouse wants to talk to you now, if you'll be so kind.

Just you, madam, at the moment, please.

What did you say to this teacher?

After you'd handed over your little girl.

You mean the one they call Daphne? The one that they said went to the dentist?

Have you found her yet?

I didn't say anything to her. How was that?

I didn't say anything because I didn't see her. I didn't see the teachers, just the cook and she said she'd keep an eye on her. It was only for five or 10 minutes.

I was late. So I left her there all alone, with a baby half her age.

We found Daphne Musgrave.

Where? At the dentist.

She says she never saw your child.

She says she went into the First Day room. Isn't that what it's called?

At about 10:05. The cook told her there was a child there.

Two. Bunny and this baby.

Miss Daphne says the cook said child. Singular.

She was quite definite about that.

Sure enough, when she went in, there was a child. The baby.

So if you left Bunny in there at... What time did you say?

Almost 9:55.

Then it was during the next 10 minutes that she went off.

Went off?

On her voyage of discovery.

But the window and front door were locked. I'm sure I heard it lock behind me. let's go and see, shall we?

You must think I'm a terrible mother, leaving her that way.

No, Mrs. Lake. I don't know anything about you yet.

Andrews, see what you can learn about this cook.

If you can't find her, send out a general call.

Very good, sir.

I must now, I suppose, enter the personality of a four-year-old female child... possessed with a conviction forbidden doors are to be opened.

Yes, Bunny would feel like that about forbidden doors.

I've been put in there, and I assume my mother has gone off and left me.

Well, that's how it must have seemed to a child.

Maybe I'd try this door.

Empty, obviously, at this hour.

Somewhere a hymn of nauseating banality is being sung by the punctual children.

They were singing, yes.

So I cross the hall... and office.

No joy there. And now... the kitchen.

The cook was standing right there when I talked to her.

Is this junket? Yes.

I'm terribly fond of the stuff.

Do you think they'd mind? Not from what the cook said about it.

That door. Was that door open or shut?

Shut, I think.

If she had wandered out this way, she probably would have gone through it... and on to the great outside world beyond. But the cook would have stopped her.


I think that covers the possibilities here. Don't you worry, Mrs. Lake.

Even if she did wander out this way, she can't have gone far.

Not in three hours, at most.

We'll circulate her description.

She's not far away. Thank you.

Have you got a snap? What?

This sort of thing.

Taken at Cromer Sands on a dull August afternoon.

Almost useless for identification, but it pleases Grandmother.

A snapshot. That's right.

No, I don't have one. The photo albums, most of our things haven't arrived yet.

Would your brother have one? Possibly, I'm not sure.

All of your family are most elusive. Looking for me?

Are you Mrs. Lakes brother? That's right.

Steven Lake. Supt. Newhouse.

I was upstairs having another session with Ada Ford.

Who's she?

Sort of the witch in residence. You know what she told me?

This has happened before in this school, only with two kids instead of one.

A teacher took them to the zoo in Whipsnade without telling anybody.

Did they find them? Yes.

Safe and sound. But the whole place went crazy looking for them.

Where's your husband?

You see, Superintendent, my sisters husband...

I'm not married. I never was.

I see.

I hope the fact that Bunny is illegitimate won't...

Of course it won't, Mrs... Miss Lake.

Although I assume you do sometimes call yourself Mrs.

Only when it avoids confusion. Miss is fine.

Have you a photograph of your niece?

Let me see.

Excuse me, but isn't... No, that's me.

I'm so stupid. Of course I have a picture of Bunny. It's in her passport at the apartment.

My cars outside. Do you want me to get it? That would be very helpful.

I put your briefcase in the top drawer of your desk.

Not a trace of the cook. I've had them send out a general call.

Mr. Lake, this is Sgt. Andrews.

Go with Mr. Lake to his flat, will you?

Then you can bring him and a photograph of the little girl back to the station.

What about me? You can come to the station with me.

That's where we keep all the red tape.

The little tailor went snip, snip, snip.

Poor flies, cut right across the middle.

Her hair was... Her hair is blonde, like mine.

Eyes? Blue.

Thank you, Mrs. Tulk. Weight?

31... No, thank you.

32 pounds, I guess. Height? Approximately, you understand.

Dark blue pinafore dress.

Dark blue double-breasted coat... with brass buttons.

Speaks with an American accent... and will answer to the name of Bunny Lake.

Message ends. Repeat message.

Attention called: Missing child.

Age: 4 years. Eyes: Blue.

Height: 3 feet, approximately. Hair: Blond, medium length.

Speaks with an American accent... and will answer to the name of Bunny Lake.

My father was a policeman.

Managed to get me into a university.

I think he rather wanted me to be a poet.

When I told him I wanted to be a policeman like him, he was horrified.

You'll have no friends, he said.

No single decent human being will want to speak to you from now on.

I must say he was perfectly right.

Mr. Newhouse, what are we doing here?

What are we doing about Bunny?

We're waiting for something to happen.

Yes. Can I talk? Are you alone?

No, but go on.

There's nothing here, sir. Everything seems to have Been removed.

Everything? Yes, sir.

All the child's possessions seem to have gone.

Very interesting. What shall we do next, sir?

Stay there, will you? Him, too. We'll be along.

And, Andrews. Yes, sir?

Don't move anything. Not a thing. Understand?


What would anybody want with Bunny's things?

It's like a nightmare.

Somebody must have broken in. The lock seems to be intact.

Can't see any sign of tampering.

All the child's things are missing: Mug, bib, one bathrobe, pink... one nightgown, slippers, teddy bear, everything.

And the passport, of course.

But it was open when we got here. Anybody could've come in.

Yes, sir. When we arrived, we only had to push it.

Was the door open when you left here?

I think so.

I did leave it open when I went upstairs...

with the groceries.

And I had to make two trips.

So I could have forgotten to lock it again.

Has the child ever been here? Never.

No. She caught a cold on the boat coming over.

Today was the first day that I let her go out.

You were right here this morning at about what time?

10:15, 10:30.

10:15. Now, did the movers...

They left a few minutes after?

I started to unpack.

Then a man came in.

The door was unlocked? What man?

Mr. Wilson. He had a key. Who is this Wilson?

Our landlord, but that doesn't give him the right to come barging in here.

So I went to buy some groceries.

Did you leave Mr. Wilson alone here? No.

He left when I did.

How long were you here after you had come back from marketing?

Just long enough to unload the groceries. I had to go get Bunny.

Yes, very well.

Mr. Lake, do you have personal possessions of any value?

Very few, and nothings missing.

Wait a minute.

No, it's all here. Excuse me.

A little over $500 in Swiss Francs and travelers checks.

Bunny isn't on your passport?

No, she has her own.

Why do you leave so much money lying around?

I was supposed to go to Switzerland tomorrow... to cover the International Monetary Conference...

You work for an American newspaper? No, magazines.

He's in charge of the London office. What's this got to do with Bunny?

I'm temporarily in charge. What did you do this morning, Mr. Lake?

After I left with Bunny? Yes, what did you do? Everything, please. let's see.

I waited at Frogmore End for the moving men.

Where? Frogmore End.

It's a house where my boss lives.

He's on a leave of absence right now doing a job for the U.S. Information Agency.

I used to live with them as a paying guest, and then when Ann and Bunny came... we stayed there till we could move here. Five nights, I think.

Four nights. Then we moved in here.

Why not move here right away? The flat wasn't ready until today.

So I waited at Frogmore End for the moving men.

Then I went to the airport to cover the arrival of...

How is all this helping Bunny? I don't know yet. Go on, Mr. Lake.

Then I went back to the office. Where?

Grosvenor St. I stayed there until my sister called me from the school.

Very well. I'll telephone you the moment we have anything to report.

Superintendent. Andrews knows what I want.

You won't mind if they take some pictures, fingerprints?

I don't understand. I don't see how a child can just disappear.

Either you've been the victim of a very eccentric burglar... or... Or what?

...the child's things never were here. I unpacked them myself.

I remember. Now I want you to try and remember... who else saw the child since you came to England... apart from you and your brother?

Just try to think of anyone else who saw her.

Who saw Bunny? Will you think hard about that, please?

Let me have a list.

We'll find her, sir.

Yes, and the bloke, too. Degenerate.

What do you mean?

Hangings a courtesy to that type. Hangings a kindness.

He's got two girls of his own, sir.

That kid we found up Old Oak Common.

The way we found her, I could have strung that bloke up personally.

They'll probably just hit him with a bloody psychiatrists report...

Come on, Charles. We have work to do.

He takes it all personally.

Good day, sir. We'll be letting you know.

Don't let it be that. Please, God, don't.

Don't let them hurt her like that.

I'd rather she be dead.

Don't. They always exaggerate.

It's the only way they can make their job seem important.

I never dreamed it could be anything like that.

It isn't.

That mans a policeman.

He knows about these things.

He's a dumb bastard.

If you'll just listen to me, I'll show you how it couldn't be anything like that.

How? Because all of her things are gone.

But that doesn't prove anything.

Of course it does. If you're going to kill a child... you don't go to the trouble of getting toys and clothes for it, do you?

And a bib? And a mug?

No. That's true. They went farther than that.

They came here and got her own clothes and toys.


Because these people, whoever they are, want Bunny to be happy and comfortable.

Yes, I can see that.

And if they want her to be happy, that means they won't hurt her.


But who?

That's what we've got to find out.

But you're not going to be much help if you go all to pieces like this.


That superintendent... Newhouse?

He asked me for a list.

A list of all the people who have seen Bunny since we got to England.

Now, what does he need that for?

Suspects, I suppose. No.

Steven... he sounded like... he wanted to make sure there really was a Bunny.

Come on. Get a hold... If he doesn't believe... that Bunny was real, maybe they'll just stop looking for her.

They wouldn't, honey. They couldn't take that risk.

There is something.

Something I bet the thief missed.

Here it is. Right where I hid it.

What is it?

I bought it for Bunny. It has candy inside.

I hid it there, so we could play Hot and Cold.

I'll take it to him.

And I want somebody to look at the house.

It's empty, locked. You'll have to get in somehow.

Number 30 Frogmore End. Have you got that?

Yes, sir, 30 Frogmore End. Okay.

Steven, I just remembered.

Tell him at least 30 people saw her. Maybe more.

What do you mean? Everybody on the bus we took to school.

Of course. I'll tell him.

Of course I've seen children disappear from this school.

I've known children come for one day and never return again.

It's perfectly feasible, Superintendent.

Children are at the mercy of their parents.

And, for the most part, parents are a very bad lot.

In some instances, even undeserving of their children.

Wouldn't you say? But I wouldn't say.

That would make me a suspect, don't you see?

Queer old party saves child from undeserving parent.

Now, coming back to Bunny Lake.

That's not her real name, you know.

Not Bunny at all, but Felicia.

Isn't it delicious? A little affected for an American child... but I think it shows a strong imagination at work.

The brother told me quite a lot.

There's something unusual about that young man.

Something very unusual.

What exactly did Mr. Lake say to you?

Apparently, she had this completely imaginary companion.

Who, Bunny? No, the mother, when she was a child.

And she called her Bunny.

It's terribly common among children... lonely children, that is.

Why do you think Steven Lake told you all this? let's say we took a fancy to each other.

The whole place was full of those great men of yours in boots.

I think we both knew that was no way to find Bunny.

Why do you say that? Perhaps I'm wrong.

I'm alone a great deal, Superintendent.

But that young man is worried about his sister. Desperately worried.

Isn't that natural? Is it? Natural, I mean?

I should have thought the natural thing was to worry about the child.

Johnson and Bates, take a look upstairs.

How long do they go back, these records?

I've kept them ever since I came. Ever since Miss Ford retired.

The parent fills out the entry form and returns it with the fees.

Just the first months.

Then the child's name is put on a card which records its progress... health, absences, dental treatment, and conduct.

And the ledger?

Every penny received over the last 12 months.

Mr. Newhouse, I think this might interest you.

My sister bought it this morning for Bunny.

What time did she buy it?

Before the child was missing, if that's what you mean.

Yes, that's exactly what I mean, Mr. Lake.

It would have been more useful if it had turned up earlier.

She hid it for a game of Hot and Cold and forgot all about it until now.

Hot and Cold? It's a sort of treasure hunt.

Ann and I used to play when we were little. Now she plays it with Bunny.

Odd how the most improbable things suddenly seem quite reasonable.

Then you'd agree with me she'd scarcely buy playthings for a nonexistent child?

Nonexistent? Did I say that?

You suggested to her perhaps Bunny's things were never in the apartment.

You also asked her for a list of everyone who had seen the child.

Yes, I did want that.

Then find the conductor and passengers on the 13 bus that left Frogmore End... around 9:15 this morning... and stopped at Finchley Road tube station and let Ann and Bunny off.

Passengers are difficult to trace, and bus conductors are rarely observant.

They tend to be dreamers, philosophers, that sort of thing.

Self-protection, I suppose.

You're not going to check it out?

We have checked every bus that passed Frogmore End... between 8:45 and 9:30 this morning.

The fact that none of the conductors can recall our mother and child is not unusual.

Neither does it invalidate your sisters statement that she was on board.

However, I think we've found something of greater importance... and I'd like your views on it. Well?

We've been through all the records of every child entered for this nursery... during this past year.

We've also been through the receipt for all checks paid for fees in advance.

Were Bunny's fees paid for in advance?

Yes, for the first month.

In currency? No, a check.

And the entrance form, was that sent back?

Yes, I mailed it in with the check. You did?

My sister was still in America.

Besides, I... Besides?

I always take care of these things for her.

Can you give us any idea of when it was sent?

I can give you more than an idea.

Here it is: Little Peoples Garden. L9 and nine shillings.

Sent two weeks ago. Satisfied?

I'm afraid, Mr. Lake, there's no record of that ever having been received.

The child's name is nowhere in our records.

What a convenient discovery. Just at the right time, too.

I take back what I said this afternoon, Miss Smollett.

Your track records looking up.

You are all in the clear no matter what happens... because you don't have Bunny's name in your records.

She's not in your index, so she doesn't exist.

What are you suggesting?

You tore up the card and changed the ledgers when there was trouble.

Superintendent, you don't believe... It is possible.

Look, either the school is lying or we are.

They have a reason to. They lost a child.

But what possible reason would my sister have for lying?

I was hoping you could give me a reason.

You know that teachers lying. She has to admit it.

What do you suggest? We no longer have the rack.

You don't seem to be taking this thing very seriously.

I assure you that I am.

It's very easy to tear out an incriminating page... from a loose-leaf ledger. You said so yourself.

No, I didn't. By the same token, it's possible to tear out a blank check form... and write anything you like on the stub.

If that's what you think, ask the bank about it.

I may, but you could just say the school never deposited it... and they tore it up along with the application.

Are you calling me a liar?

I'm not calling anybody anything, Mr. Lake. Not yet.

One thing I can guarantee: If this child isn't found by tomorrow morning...

I'll stir up the damnedest mess you ever saw.


By simply doing my job as a journalist.

American child disappears in broad daylight... right in the middle of London.

Police do nothing. That sort of thing.

Sounds conventional. A bit dull, too.

It won't be dull for you. I'll go to the American ambassador.

I'll hire detectives.

Yes. You'll hire. You'll complain. That would be normal procedure.

You do everything for your sister, don't you?

Pay her bills, fill up her forms... hire detectives to solve her little mysteries.

What's wrong with that?

How did she get to England? She?

I'm sorry, they. How did your sister and Bunny travel from America?

By ship. What ship?

The Queen Mary. They arrived last Thursday.

Tell me about you and your sister when you were children.

What are you doing here?

Carrying out my landlords right of inspection.

The police were here. I don't care for the police.

My little girl, she's lost. They're trying to find her.

Your little girl?

Mr. Lake, I understood, had a little girl. A little sister.

And that, duchess, turned out to be you.

But your having a little girl... that comes to me as a most unwelcome surprise.

No cage birds, I stipulated. No cats.

No livestock of any kind.

Somebody got in here and stole her things.

Somebody took Bunny's things.

Bunny? Did you see anyone?

They came up here while I was out.

What sort of a name is that?

Bunny rabbits, with those long, mean heads... and those wet noses going up and down all the time.

Just who is this Bunny?

How can you make jokes when I told you she's lost?

Bunny is my little girls name.

And you, little duchess, what exactly does that make you?

I'm Bunny's mother.

And I'm expecting a phone call from the police and my brother.

Probably my brother first.

The telephone, that miracle of modern communication.

I often wonder why it is... that we communicate so much less with all these marvels at our disposal... than we did in a more primitive day, without the wireless and the television.

I appear on the television, you know.

They pay me to make use of my melodious voice.

I sing rude old Welsh ballads.

I recite a few things of my own... and then I give them Elizabethan drama.

And all in exchange for one whiskey... served to me in the first aid room.

I could, if you like... give you a private performance.

Please, just go away.

I'm told that my voice... is extremely seductive.

It seems to unleash whole hurricanes of passion... in the breasts of the females who watch me on the BBC.

Perhaps you should sample the wine... before sending the bottle back to the cellar.

Anyone else in the family?

No, except for Bunny.

Of course. What about your parents?

Our father was killed in the war.

Went right up to V-E Day without a scratch, and then got hit by a tank.

One of ours.

My mother, she was kind of peculiar.

Any special way?

She was a great believer in the hereafter.

Do you believe in life on another planet?

Seems quite unbelievable enough to me on this one, I think.

Anyhow, Mother used to spend most of her time in church... the Church of Christ the Spiritualist, having long talks with my father.

It's funny, he never had much to say to her while he was alive.

But once he was dead, apparently he never shut up.

Anyway, I sort of got into the habit of taking care of Ann.

She was my responsibility.

A bit of a burden, wasn't it, on a schoolboy?

I didn't think of it that way. Your mother?

She died almost two years ago.

Any communications with her since? Not a peep.

When you were at school, wasn't Ann lonely?

No more so than any other child.

What did she do to fill in her days?

Reading, I suppose. Books, dolls, that sort of thing.

Alone? Most of the time. We lived in the country.

Look, where's all this getting us?

Children, lonely children, often make up imaginary playmates.

Did your sister ever do anything like that? Not that I know of.

I'm terribly sorry if we've inconvenienced you... but we're just following our instructions.

You've made me miss my plane.

We'll book you on another plane as soon as you've answered a few questions.

You mustn't be cross with me because I betrayed your little secret.

After all, I didn't know it was a secret.

Perhaps if you had told me... What precisely was it he did tell you?

He began by asking me if it were unusual for a child to invent a playmate.

And is it? Quite the contrary.

It's one of the most common of childhood fantasies.

I recall one case, quite outré... but that's neither here nor there, is it? I'm afraid not.

Then he told me his sister had made up a child.

He said when his sister was 5 years old... she'd invented another little girl who she named Bunny.

And that after a time, she began to think of this Bunny as being her own child... not only a friend. Mr. Lake?

She has a good memory, except for one detail.

I wasn't talking about my sister. I never lie, Superintendent.

That makes you a most unusual woman, Miss Ford.

Did he say it was his sister? Not in so many words, perhaps... but we'd been talking about his sister earlier.

If it wasn't about Ann, then why did you tell her... that the name of the imaginary child was Bunny?

I couldn't remember the real name, so I used Bunny hypothetically.

That's reasonable.

It's not reasonable, and Mr. Lake is a most frightful liar.

I give up.

What was your purpose in paying Miss Ford a second visit?

To soften her up, to get her talking. Why?

I had a feeling that she knew something. What could I know?

This room, this flat, have been my whole world for years now.

This room and this flat are on top of this school.

What are you implying?

That she wants to prove an imaginary child to get the school off the hook.

You would do anything, almost anything, to protect your sister, wouldn't you?

What's that supposed to mean?

If Bunny were a phantom... if your sister were delusionary, would you admit it?

I've had it, Newhouse.

Just give me half an hour to square things at the office, then I'll get busy.

I'll find Bunny without you.

You'll be lucky if they still let you hand out parking tickets.

If you won't come to the party, duchess, the party must come to you. Have a drink.

I give you golden whiskey, Scottish wine.

I give you a sight of some very interesting African gentlemen... whose heads shrunk in the wash.

I give you dark diamonds of Elizabethan poetry... set in the velvet of my melodious voice.

And all you do is sit staring at that small mechanical instrument.

Please go away.

What is it, duchess? Are you cold?

Is that buttermilk flesh all frozen?

What, cold, my girl?

Some would be honored, may I tell you that, by my touch?

There are those at the BBC who bear, like medals... bruises left by the love of Horatio Wilson.

Is that the patter of tiny feet... or the great thumping boots of a constable?

Nothing yet, I'm afraid. Nothing definite.

It will increase your melancholy... Who are you?

No autographs, but you may touch my garment.

Andrews, take Mr. Wilson back to his flat, will you?

Is this where we get police violence?

Go with Andrews, please. I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.

All right. I was just about to go.

Good night, duchess.

Sorry that drunk pestered you. Ever heard him read poetry?

It's like a Welsh parson gargling in molasses.

Where's Steven?

He had to get back to his office for a little while. He won't be long.

Looks as if you have a starved mouse. I tried to eat, but it made me sick.

If you don't eat, you'll just collapse.

That won't help Bunny, will it? Come along.

The poor nuns used to lash each other... into positive frenzies of self-mortification.

For myself, I find the sensation rather more titillating... if you'd care to have a bash.

No, thank you. No, I can't say I blame you.

Hardly what one would call a proper whip, is it?

More like a plaything.

But this one...

You simply must try this one.

It's my particular pet.

It's reputed to have belonged to the great one himself:

The Marquis de Sade.

I have his skull here.

At least, that's what they told me in the Caledonian market.

But there's nothing like his very own whip.

So lovely. So very lovely.

One ham and one cheese sandwich, and a large brandy and soda.

Yes, sir.

Couldn't see anything in his flat... but he could have taken the little girls things any time this morning.

Why should he, I wonder? Bloody pervert, if you want my opinion.

Kept on asking Rogers to strike him.

Please, Andrews, he works for the BBC. While we're here... go through the lake flat again, will you?

See if anythings changed since this morning.

Several hundred American troops in West Germany... in full Battle kit, moved up this morning to Helmstedt... the control point of the autobahn to Berlin.

You're trying to tell me something terrible?

Why? I don't know. You're being so nice.

I tried to make out that list. List?

The people who'd seen Bunny. Yes, the list.

There isn't anyone special.

Just the people on the bus this morning... or at Southampton when we got off the boat.

I see.

She had a cold. I kept her indoors.

I did find something I bought for Bunny this morning.

Did Steven give it to you? Yes, he showed me.

Why don't you do something? Why don't you find her?

We repeat, and ask our viewers to pay special attention...

No stone, as they say, unturned.

The search for the child who disappeared... from a Hampstead nursery school this morning continues.

The police say that the child is fair-haired, about 3 feet high... is wearing...

Ever been in a pub before?


Here it is, the heart of merry old England.

Complete with dirty glasses, watery beer... drafts under the doors, and a 23-inch television.

Have you been out much since you arrived?

Steven was looking forward to showing me the sights... but Bunny had that cold.

But surely you could have found someone to babysit for you.

Steven thought so, too, but I didn't.

She was in a strange house in a strange country.

A strange babysitter might have been too much.

You and your brother are pretty close, aren't you?

All of our lives.

I've been meaning to ask you... did anyone try to stop you having your baby?

You mean an abortion?

Steven offered to arrange one for me if I wanted it.

I suppose it seemed the most practical thing to do... but I decided against it.

What about the father? My father?

Bunny's father.

He was just a boy I went to school with... or sometimes to a movie or a dance.

He wasn't really very important to me.

How did he take the news of Bunny's impending arrival?

He came to the house and he offered to marry me... but Steven threw him out.

And that somewhat dampened his ardor?

No, he was still willing. I was the one who said no.

Why? I wasn't in love with him.

Steven said I'd already made one mistake.

Why complicate it with a second?

Your brother sounds like a sensible young man.

Eat something, won't you?

Yes, sir. Two brandies and soda, please.

That's better.

I'm not very good at drinking on an empty stomach.

Did you ever have an imaginary friend when you were a child?

Did Steven tell you that?

In a way. What sort of a friend was it?

A little girl. Didn't you ever have an imaginary playmate when you were little?

I was raised amidst the strife and tumult of nine male and female siblings.

It would have been madness to invent a tenth.

Did Steven tell you my playmates name?

No, he didn't. Bunny. Does that seem odd to you?

Compared to most oddities that fall into my professional lap, it's commonplace.

Bunny was the name of a character in a child's storybook.

She was a lovely character, so I named my playmate after the girl in the book.

Then later, when my daughter was born, I called her Bunny... as a nickname.

Isn't that what you're really questioning me about?

I'm not questioning you, Miss Lake. I'm just trying to know you better.

What happened to the Bunny in the storybook?

How did her story end?

I can't remember.

Well, what happened to the Bunny you invented?

When I began to outgrow her, we decided it would be better if she died.

We? Steven and I.

He had read about this Buddhist funeral ceremony... they have each year in Japan for broken dolls.

So we dug a grave in the garden... and then we buried her after burning all her things.

What things?

The imaginary things an imaginary child would need.

What the hell do you think you're doing, Newhouse?

While the Superintendent was being so charming to you here... his stooges have been searching our apartment.

I assume you have a search warrant?

Are you making a complaint?

Why are you pouring liquor into my sister when you know she's so upset?

Was he trying to brainwash you?

No, Steven, of course not. What are you up to, Newhouse?

Trying to find the truth.

Isn't that what you were looking for in our apartment?

I just want to find one simple thing... one small, simple proof.

Proof of what? That Bunny Lake exists.

You son of a...

Let him go.

We're not supposed to hit you, Mr. Lake.

In return, I must ask you not to hit me. It doesn't prove anything.

Mr. Newhouse, what are you going to do now?

Go home.

That's all, Superintendent. Shall I keep her here... until you return?

No, it all adds up. Compliment her on her junket and let her go.

I'd like to talk to Supt. Newhouse, please. This is Ann Lake.

Is it about your little girl?

Of course it's about my little girl. What else would I be calling him about?

The Superintendents not here. I'm afraid he's gone home.

Ann, bring me another cigarette, will you? They're in my coat pocket.

He did it. They said he'd gone home.

We'll find her ourselves.

I made an appointment with the best private detective in London... first thing in the morning.

By morning, she may be dead.

Ann, stop it. We've already been through that.

The one thing that absolutely can't happen is that Bunny will be found dead.

Either she'll be found with the people that took her... or she won't be found at all. That's the worst that could happen.

We'd never see her again, but we'd know she's alive.

I'd rather die than never see her again.

Listen to me. I was only trying to comfort you.

You said she might be dead, and I wanted to show you... that even if we never see her again, she'll still be alive with people who love her.

How could they hide her so well? I don't think they have.

I think we're gonna find her.

And the best thing you can do to help... is to take a sleeping pill and get a good nights sleep.

I'll wait up for the phone. No, I don't want to.

Steven, the doll!

What doll? Bunny's doll.

Here's the ticket from the repair shop. You took it there yourself yesterday.

I forgot all about it.

I'm gonna run right over there. It's too late. They'll be closed.

I'll make them open up. I'll break the door in.

If the ticket and the doll is real, then they'll have to believe Bunny's real.

But nobody will be there at this time.

Keep moving, please.

Keep on the pavement.

Don't walk in the street, please.

Can't we take some other street?

They're all the same, ma'am. It's the theater crowd.

How much further is it to King St.? In this mess, could take hours.

Could I walk it? Quicker than I can drive you.

Tell me where it is.

Turn left, go about 200 yards, then ask again.

Keep moving, please.

Is this all the passengers? The complete list.

No stowaways? Not as far as we know.

Did you expect to find the child, sir?

It's not just the child. Neither of them came. Neither one of them.

You know what that means, don't you, Andrews?

You and I made them up.

We made up the whole family. Go and ring the Lakes flat.

Hello, my dear. What about a little drink and a dance?

You do dance, don't you?

No reply, sir, from the Lakes flat.

Four nights.

Four or five nights. She said five. He said four.

If it was five, they'd have come on... Wednesday.

Yes. Did any of your boats arrive on Wednesday of last week?

Not ours, definitely.

Well, what did? Something must have crossed the Atlantic.

Well? From New York?

From America.

The Bremen, bound for Bremerhaven... arrived Southampton, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.

Can you get me a passenger list? Tonight?

No, I don't mean tonight. I mean, now.

Come up. I've almost finished it.

Good evening. Come in, my dear.

I thought it was someone else.

Yes, I've got a near fatality here... and I told the char to leave the door unfastened for its mother... who lives next door.

She's only 6 years old, you see.

And at that age, they're always alarmists about their children.

But you look pale. Are you all right?

Can I get you some tea?

No, thank you. I'm quite all right. I was just...

My brother left a doll here to be repaired... and I need it so I can prove that I really have a...

Here's the receipt.

Yes, I remember.

This doll had almost been loved to death.

You know, love inflicts the most terrible injuries... on my small patients.

I'm afraid you'll have to find it yourself.

My helper has gone home.

There's a basement... underneath the room you entered by.

I call it the recuperation ward.

You'll find it there. I'll just light this lamp for you.

There now.

That's it.

Thank you very much.

Look, I found her. Now we can take her to the police. They'll have to believe us.

Yes, I guess they will. Come on, the cars outside.

No, wait. I have to pay the old man.


Steven, what are you doing?

No, sir, both out.

By the looks of it, they left in a hurry, too. All the lights are still burning.

Other than this slight contusion, there's nothing that shows up yet.

She must have hit her head when she fell.

I found her just lying there in front of the fireplace.

She'd been under a terrible strain the last couple of days. let's not wake her. Sleeps the best medicine right now.

But she'll wake up soon. She's always been a light sleeper.

If that happens, we'll give her something. She needs to sleep.

It'll give her a chance to unwind.

Tomorrow, when she's had a rest, we can run some tests.

I don't care how long it takes or how much it costs. I want her to get completely well.

The last couple of weeks, it was as if I had lost touch with her and she with me.

She kept going on about an imaginary child... she thought was lost or something.

Perhaps I ought to consult a psychiatrist.

Perhaps. In the meantime, Mr. Lake, we'll do all we can.

And if we should need to get in touch with you later... can we call you at home? Yes, but I won't be there till very late.

This whole thing has played havoc with my job.

Dr. Avery, please.

The doctor ordered sedation if needed. Thank you.

Bed Number 2. Right.

Mrs. Robertson is getting restless. Go change her dressing, Nurse.

Will you bring the trolley?

Then I'll call Dr. Sheldon.

Everything is ready. Thank you.

So then, what's all this about, Mrs. Robertson?

We're going to do your dressing again, and you'll be quite comfortable.

Just lie quietly.

Operator. Get me the gate.

Main gate. A patient left Ward C4 without permission.

Stop her at the gate. I'll come down.

Routine report just came through from St. Charles Hospital in Hampstead.

A young woman seems to have escaped.

Her name is Lake.

That was very smart of Stevie, wasn't it?

What? The way he got her out of the school.

He was there before you were. He was watching you all the time.

Then when I left, he took her.

He had to be very fast.

He knew he didn't have much time before recess began.

That was brave of him.

I would have been frightened. Where did he hide her?

He put her to sleep and hid her in the trunk of his car.

That was the smartest thing of all. He knew they'd never look there.

Of course not.

But he knew they'd look here. He even reminded them to, and they did.

Now he's perfectly safe.

They'll never come back.

Only, you shouldn't be here. He didn't want you here.

But I came. Why?

I wanted to be with you, Stevie... so that no one would frighten you... or hurt you... or make you cry.

I didn't do anything wrong, did I? Of course not.

But you did.

You did wrong, Annie.

You forgot about me.

All you could think of was that boy... that dirty, rotten boy.

That was wrong, wasn't it?

Yes, Stevie, that was very wrong.

And then you let her grow inside you.

You didn't have to do that, but you did.

And now we can't be together anymore.

She's always there between us.

No one will ever come between us, Stevie.

We'll always be together.

I'm sorry I burned that doll. It was just a doll.

I didn't care. I knew you wouldn't.

That other Bunny came between us, too, didn't she?

Not really. She was only make-believe.


But she did come between us.

That's why she had to die and go to heaven.

No, don't. I'll do it, Stevie. Let me do it.

No, Annie.

You don't like me the best anymore.

You like her.

You whisper to her at night.

You tell her secrets that you won't tell me.

I can't trust you.

Of course you can, Stevie.

I promise.

It isn't fair.

When the make-believe Bunny came between us... you made her die and go to heaven.

Now it's my turn.

Stevie, I'm tired of this game.

I want to play hide-and-seek.

I bet I beat you. I bet you don't.

I thought it up, so you're it.

Now hide your face and count, Stevie. All right.

But I'll catch you. Just you wait and see.

One, two, three, four...

I won! Not until the game is finished.

You haven't tagged me yet.

Here we go round the mulberry Bush The mulberry Bush, the mulberry Bush Here we go round the mulberry Bush On a cold and frosty morning

This is the way we jump up and down Jump up and down, jump up and down This is the way we jump up and down Jump up and down

This is the way we jump up and down On a cold and frosty morning

Hey, let's play blind mans bluff!

Yes, let's!

Here I come, ready or not.

I won! Now it's my turn.

Darling, move in here... and sit down very quietly.

Don't move till Mommy gets back. Promise me.

Promise. All right.

Please don't. Don't.

You cheated.

Steven, you don't mean it.

You can't possibly be serious.

You love Bunny, too.

We can all be happy, all three of us together.

Steven, don't.

Please give her to me, Steven.

Steven, you're sick. You're mad, Steven! Sick!

Please, Steven.

Steven, give her to me, please.

Steven, give her to me.

Please, Steven.

Give her to me.

Steven, please.

Stevie, come here.

I want to go high, Stevie, and I can't go high without you.

Come here.

Come here right now... or I won't play with you anymore ever again.

Annie needs to play with you.

Push me, Stevie.

I want to touch the sky.

Up to the sky.

Fly up to the sky! Up to the sky!

Higher! Higher!

Higher and higher!

You shouldn't have lied about the boat they arrived on, Mr. Lake.

Quite unnecessary and sure to be found out.

Rogers, you'll drive Miss Lake home, won't you?

Yes, sir.

Sleep well, both of you... now that you exist.