Without a Trace

If Jaffe's previous production credits aren't sufficient warning that this is one for Sensitive Drama suckers, the opening shot's a giveaway. The camera may be prowling Kate Nelligan's bedroom as if setting up a creepshow, but it's focused on a line of framed group photos on the mantelpiece. Nelligan's going to cry a lot, but she's not going to be conventionally imperilled. For this is another saga of the Ordinary Kramers, and it's the nuclear family itself that's once more in jeopardy. Hubby's already walked out, but ten minutes into the movie it's the pre-teen kid who goes missing. Kidnapped? Killed? Mum goes through the tear-jerk agonies as her son's disappearance becomes a case, an issue, and as time drags on, (almost) a statistic. The sickies, the psychics, and the media swoop briefly and indistinguishably, though Judd Hirsch is on hand as the concerned cop with a family of his own. One interlude of gay-baiting apart, everything else from here on in is designed to be drowned in sobs.

Release details

Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stanley R Jaffe
Screenwriter: Beth Gutcheon
Cast: Kate Nelligan
Judd Hirsch
David Dukes
Stockard Channing
Jacqueline Brookes
Keith McDermott
Kathleen Widdoes
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