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Not Without My Daughter (1991)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  11 January 1991 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 8,290 users  
Reviews: 114 user | 14 critic

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

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(book), (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: Not Without My Daughter (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sheila Rosenthal ...
...
Sarah Badel ...
Mony Rey ...
...
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
...
Marc Gowan ...
Bruce Evers ...
Jonathan Cherchi ...
Mammal
Soudabeh Farrokhnia ...
Nasserine
Michael Morim ...
Zia
Gili Ben-Ozilio ...
Fereshte
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Storyline

"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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jamais sans ma fille  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$14,789,113 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Mahtob" in Persian means "moonlight". See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Nicole: If you marry an Iranian man, you automatically become an Iranian citizen. The laws regarding women are very strict. You cannot travel anywhere without written permission. You have no rights to the children. They go to the man in a divorce. I'm sorry, but you *will* have to go back to your husband.
Betty Mahmoody: But we'll never get out of Iran. We're being held hostage! It was almost impossible to come here!
Nicole: Mrs. Mahmoody, there are many American women here in similar circumstances.
[pauses]
Nicole: May I ask you why ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: Drag School of Charm (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Joy to the World
(uncredited)
Written by Isaac Watts
Performed by Percy Faith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Powerful And Disturbing
21 February 2011 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

The story of Betty Mahmoody is a truly frightening one. The book she wrote and this movie based on it are controversial (many see it as little more than a racist slam against Iranian culture) but to me this movie came across as both believable and balanced. There's no doubt that life in Iran isn't presented as paradise, but the story really isn't about life in Iran; it's about one woman's experience of being forced to remain in Iran against her will after she and her daughter accompany her Iranian born doctor husband back to his homeland to visit his family, and about her subsequent efforts to escape Iran with her daughter. It also does a great job of depicting the almost complete lack of rights and freedoms women possess in Iran - having a status as little more than property to their husbands, and subject to their complete control.

Sally Field was excellent in the role of Betty and Alfred Molina was also disturbingly believable as "Moody" - her husband. As the story opens, the family are living a comfortable life in Michigan and Moody is a completely Americanized doctor working in a local hospital - a loving husband and father. Against her better judgement, Betty agrees to visit his family in Iran - a family more radically Islamic than Moody who from the moment they arrive begin to pressure him to stay and adopt their ways. Molina did a good job of showing the gradual changes in Moody's character and as he becomes more and more abusive and controlling toward Betty. Field superbly portrays Betty's growing desperation and her feelings of helplessness (and hopelessness) as every opportunity for her to escape with her daughter seems to close. Finally, with the help of some sympathetic Iranians, Betty and daughter Mahtoub make a mad escape attempt toward Turkey.

Whether all aspects of Iranian life and culture are accurately portrayed here seems somewhat beside the point to me. This isn't, after all, a documentary about life in Iran. This is Betty's own story as she experienced it and remembered it - and it's a story that makes the viewer ache for her as she tries to figure out a way to escape this nightmare she's caught up in. I found her story completely believable and brilliantly portrayed.


14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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