Paula and Robert Sims are desperate: their 12 days old baby has been kidnapped! Since there's no trace of the kidnappers, they address the public for help. Shortly after their daughter is ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paula Sims
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Robert Sims
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Sheriff Frank Yocom
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Agent Jimmy Bivens
Tim Grimm ...
Capt. Kocis
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Don Groshong
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Wendy McBride
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Ruth Potter
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Minnie Gray
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Don Weber
Molly McClure ...
Trudy
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Deputy Hazelwood
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Judge
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Benjamin Stone
...
Nurse
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Storyline

Paula and Robert Sims are desperate: their 12 days old baby has been kidnapped! Since there's no trace of the kidnappers, they address the public for help. Shortly after their daughter is found dead. When the same happens three years later to their second daughter, Sheriff Yocom becomes suspicious. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

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Release Date:

28 September 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kaltblütig geopfert  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Very Powerful Material! A Must See!
27 August 2002 | by (Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

*This review contains some spoilers.*

I'm not much into dramas that were made for television. They typically turn out to be boring or standard, and I am the type that would much rather be bored by a bad movie with some action and excitement in it. But I watched `Precious Victims' when it aired on television anyhow because of its cast. Just look at this list of names! The person that particularly drew my attention was one of my all-time favorites, Brion James. Despite this, I was still expecting something standard and boring, since it was based on true events. But I was in for a very big surprise, as `Precious Victims' is one of the best dramas I have ever seen. Or perhaps I should say it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

From the opening scene, I was hooked. It opens with Richard Thomas (from `The Waltons') speaking to the camera (we first see him through the eyes of a jury) about a heinous crime that has been committed. Then the movie takes us back in time, to 1985. In that year, a married couple (Park Overall, Robby Benson), the Sims, in a small Illinois town have their first baby. Not long after it is born, the wife shows up at a neighbor's front door, hysterical, claiming a man forced his way into her home and kidnapped her daughter. Police authorities are quick on the scene, and they are stumped by the unusual circumstances surrounding the woman's story. After days of searching, the body of the baby is found in the woods behind the couple's home. The police are quick to suspect Mrs. Sims of killing her own child, but no solid evidence can be located to prove their accusations. Three years later, the Sims have moved to a larger town, have a son and a newborn daughter. All seems well (at first glance) until the exact same thing happens to their second daughter.

The first half of this movie is absolutely riveting, focusing on the search for the missing daughter. The second half, not as powerful but still very mighty, deals with the trial of Mrs. Sims for the second disappearance. I typically hate courtroom melodrama, but this one is an example of how to do it. Major Hollywood filmmakers, take note! The cast is really outstanding. Frederic Forrest and Brion James are just wonderful as the police authorities in the first half, and Richard Thomas and Cliff De Young are truly terrific as district attorney and defense attorney, respectively. There are also other familiar people like Eileen Brennan, Nancy Cartwright, and Robyn Lively. But its Overall and Benson that haunt you. The circumstances of the crime really make you wonder what is going on in their heads, and the movie definitely directs some blame of the crime on Mr. Sims. Overall and Benson are chilling in their secrecy, never fully letting you know what they are thinking. I really got the chills when Benson gave anyone a cold stare! But of course, I think the biggest credit should go to Peter Levin's superb direction. Why isn't this guy going feature films, replacing the hacks that we are normally fed? He treats both halves differently and in a ways which really put you in awe. I don't know anything of the true story behind this movie (and what may have happened to these people after the movie was made), but this is definitely one that people should check out, for the story, cast, and direction. Seek it out! Zantara's score: 10 out of 10!


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