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Missing Persons (1990)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 57 users  
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Hetty is approached by Frank Cross, husband of her old friend Edith, to locate his son from his first marriage, whom he hasn't seen in fifty years.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Missing Persons (TV Movie 1990)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Melody ...
Robert Wainthropp
Frank Cross
Jean Heywood ...
Edith Cross
Gary Waldhorn ...
Bernard Shawcross
Geoffrey Shawcross (as Garry Halliday)
Ram John Holder ...
Chalky White
Jean Kent ...
Phillida Meadowhite
Janet Allen ...
Mrs. Lilium
Julie Foy ...
Cathy Underwood ...
Beryl Lilium
Matthew Vaughan ...
Nigel Collins ...
Betting Shop Manager


In this unsold pilot for what would ultimately become "Hetty Waintropp Investigates" six years later, Hetty is approached by Frank Cross, husband of her oldest and dearest friend Edith, to locate his son Bernard from his first marriage, an only child whom he hasn't seen in fifty years. However, by the time Hetty finds him, Frank has changed his mind and no longer wants to meet his son. Ironically, Bernard's sixteen year-old son Geoffrey has run away from home and Hetty finds herself on another missing persons case. Written by

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the pilot episode for the TV series "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates" with Patricia Routledge. The main differences from the series is that her husband and assistant are played by different actors and that she has blonde/white hair. See more »


Edith Cross: [to Hetty] Frank always starts talkin' about his son when one of us is sick. Well, you're bound - you're bound to think of posterity at our age. Doesn't mean you're gonna shake it by the hand.
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Followed by Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996) See more »


After the Ball
Composed by Charles Harris (as Charles K. Harris) (1891)
Played on record by Hetty at Edith's birthday party
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User Reviews

A rather dark and dreary story
20 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hetty Wainthropp starts in the private detective business by tracking down the son abandoned fifty years previously by the husband of her lifelong friend, Edith. Frank Cross isn't sure he wants his son found but find him Hetty does. Then the son, Bernard, asks Hetty to find his runaway 16 year old son, Geoffrey. Due to an implausible coincidence, she does find him. But a major focus is on Frank and Edith Cross who lead unnecessarily impoverished and exceedingly dreary lives but evidently the Crosses are satisfied. Bernard's appearance on the scene somewhat upsets the apple cart in the Cross household but then things take a dramatic turn. The last part of the movie is both sad and pathetic. Rutledge shines in the role of Hetty with her no nonsense manner and easy affability with a variety of people. One thing's for sure - everyone should be as lucky as Edith in having a friend such as Hetty. A highlight of the movie is seeing Jean Kent as the elderly and delightful former actress, Phillida Meadowhite. I'm a big fan of the Hetty Wainthropp series and I'm glad they decided to replace the dour Robert as her husband and the bland Geoffrey as her young assistant in the television series. And that they lightened up the series. Good moves, all.

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