35 user 6 critic

Without a Trace (1983)

This film, centering on a child's abduction, casts Kate Nelligan as the distraught mother who lashes out at the police (in the person of a relentless detective played by Judd Hirsch), who ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel)

On Disc

at Amazon




Cast overview, first billed only:
Graham Selky
Jocelyn Norris
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Margaret Mayo
Kathleen Widdoes ...
Ms. Hauser
Alex Selky (as Daniel Bryan Corkill)
Cheryl Giannini ...
Pat Menetti
David Simon ...
Eugene Menetti
William Duell ...
Polygraph operator
Joan McMonagle ...
Vivienne Grant
Louise Stubbs ...
Malvina Robbins
Deborah Carlson ...
Naomi Blum
Charles Brown ...


This film, centering on a child's abduction, casts Kate Nelligan as the distraught mother who lashes out at the police (in the person of a relentless detective played by Judd Hirsch), who treat her and her husband as suspects, even as she hounds them to find her child and drives away her husband (David Dukes) and friends (including Stockard Channing) with her intensity and single-mindedness. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One morning, Alex Selky got dressed, waved goodbye to his mother, set off for school and disappeared.


Drama | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Still Missing  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's closing credits state: "The producers wish to thank the New York City Film Commission and the New York City Police Force for their cooperation in the making of this film." See more »


The tea kettle that Susan Selky uses while waiting for Alex to come home is not a whistling type. There is no whistle attachment as she poured the water without removing anything from the spout. Whistling was only a sound effect. See more »


Susan Selky: [to Jocelyn] You have no idea what this feels like.
See more »


References The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Slow-going human drama looks like a well-produced episode from a TV serial...
7 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

Kate Nelligan, always a forthright and gripping actress, gets to show many different sides as a single mother in New York City whose little boy disappears one day while walking a short distance to school; she clashes with authorities and friends, but is convinced her child has been kidnapped and is still alive. These type of human dramas are all pretty much the same, but if the extremities pull you in, they are undeniably absorbing. There's a horribly facetious sub-plot about a homosexual suspect (who seems to be rendered guilty by virtue of his fetishes), but Nelligan gives the familiar theme her class and ladylike vigor, making it fresher than most, and she's helped by other good actors like Judd Hirsch, Stockard Channing and David Dukes. The film is ultimately hurt by its clichés (especially when dealing second-handedly with police lieutenant Hirsch's family life); and as for the climax, it'll either strike you as very emotional or incredibly hokey and over-the-top. ** from ****

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