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Not Without My Daughter (1991)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  11 January 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 9,058 users  
Reviews: 116 user | 15 critic

An American woman, trapped in Islamic Iran by her brutish husband, must find a way to escape with her daughter as well.



(book), (book), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheila Rosenthal ...
Sarah Badel ...
Mony Rey ...
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
Marc Gowan ...
Bruce Evers ...
Jonathan Cherchi ...
Soudabeh Farrokhnia ...
Michael Morim ...
Gili Ben-Ozilio ...


"Moody" is an Iranian doctor living in America with his American wife Betty and their child Mahtob. Wanting to see his homeland again, he convinces his wife to take a short holiday there with him and Mahtob. Betty is reluctant, as Iran is not a pleasant place, especially if you are American and female. Upon arrival in Iran, it appears that her worst fears are realized: Moody declares that they will be living there from now on. Betty is determined to escape from Iran, but taking her daughter with her presents a larger problem. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In 1984, Betty Mahmoody's husband took his wife and daughter to meet his family in Iran. He swore they would be safe. They would be happy. They would be free to leave. He lied.


Drama | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jamais sans ma fille  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,789,113 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real Seyyed Bozorg Mahmoody died in 2009. See more »


There is no home near Friday praying mosque in Tehran, and Mr. Mahmoodi's home was 10 kilometers from that. See more »


[Moody laughs unexpectedly]
Betty Mahmoody: What's so funny?
Moody: You know, they think we make love all the time.
Betty Mahmoody: Who?
Moody: The family.
Betty Mahmoody: Why?
Moody: Well... because here, you know, after they make love, they have to take a shower because, you know, they can't pray unless they do, you know. It's considered unclean. And we're taking two, three showers a day!
[Moody continues laughing]
Betty Mahmoody: Oh God! What do they think? We're two rabbits or something!
[Betty is now laughing]
See more »


Referenced in The Nanny: Not Without My Nanny (1998) See more »


Tavalodet Mobarak
Written by Nozar Parang
Performed by The Moody Family
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

book vs. movie plus misc. comments
1 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a bit confused as to why so many people seem to question the truth of Betty's story. She and her family are the ones who lived it. Who is anyone else to assume she is falsely presenting it? In my opinion, much of the reason for the movie and the book (which I agree is much better based on thoroughness alone) is that she is telling her story as a warning to other wives who may find themselves in a similar situation to not put herself and child(ren) at that risk. Others have mentioned that they were free to come and go as they pleased from Iran back to the U.S. Betty clearly points out in her book that she knows others in that same situation. It just wasn't true for her. I agree that the book is far superior to the movie, but for the movie to accurately represent the book, it would have been several hours long. As such, within the time frame, I think it did a great job. Perhaps I find the book and movie 100% believable having had the pleasure of meeting Betty. Also, I was born and raised in one of the small towns in Michigan where Betty lived, and worked for a year in one of the other small cities where she lived. Her descriptions of those places were right on target. My sister, a nurse, knew Moody from one of the hospitals mentioned--and confirmed, as stated by Betty herself, that at that time in his life, Moody was indeed a very nice man. In the book, Betty also makes it VERY clear that she knows and has great love and respect for many of the Iranian people--many of whom put their own lives at risk to help her and Mahtob escape--people whom she knows she can never repay in any way for what they did for her. The only Iranian people she presents (in the book) in any really truly bad light are those of Moody's family--especially the freeloading, ungrateful relatives who lived with them for a short time in America and expected her to wait on them--her being a second class citizen simply because she is a woman. There is nothing wrong with her making those statements. After all, she should know. She was not portraying all Iranians as having those characteristics. Also, in the book, she very adequately describes how erratic Mood's behavior and personality were, problems with situational depression--and how she chose to ignore/tolerate it because neither of them were very realistic and were non-confrontational people--often letting things get out of control before situations were even addressed. I could go on with many other things, but I think the reviews that see this as a culture bashing movie are reading a lot into it that is not there. It is simply one woman's story of what happened to her--as a warning of what is a chilling reality of what could happen to a child in this kind of situation. After what she went through to make sure her daughter did not have to live as a subservient second class citizen, she wrote it to try and keep the same thing from happening to anyone else.

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