To Save the Children (1994)

TV Movie  |  Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  5 April 1994 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 130 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

Teacher Jake Downey has relocated to a small town in Wyoming hoping to escape the urban problems of his last assignment. His myth of rural bliss is shattered when a former police officer ... See full summary »


(as Steven Stern)


(nonfiction book "When Angels Intervene"), (nonfiction book "When Angels Intervene"), 1 more credit »
0Check in


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Inferno (1980)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi
...And Then She Was Gone (TV Movie 1991)
Certificate: M Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jack Bauer, a workaholic businessman, accidentally gets involved in a case of child kidnapping when he returns a doll found in the subway.

Director: David Greene
Stars: Robert Urich, Megan Gallagher, Brett Cullen
Just Ask My Children (TV Movie 2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A couple is accused of sodomy and pedophilia by two little girls. Soon they find their beloved sons taken away from them and themselves thrown in jail.

Director: Arvin Brown
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Jeffrey Nordling, Graham Beckel
A Perfect Stranger (TV Movie 1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Robert Urich as a lawyer in love with a woman who's married to a dying millionaire.

Director: Michael Miller
Stars: Robert Urich, Stacy Haiduk, Darren McGavin
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A former prostitute seeks revenge against the depraved pimp who turned her life upside-down seven years ago.

Director: Anthony Matthews
Stars: Lissa Brennan, Douglass Bell, Paula Bellin
An Unexpected Love (TV Movie 2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An unhappily married housewife and mother of two children (Leslie Hope) seperates from her husband and gets a new job where she developes a mutual attraction to her female boss (Wendy Crewson).

Director: Lee Rose
Stars: Leslie Hope, Wendy Crewson, D.W. Moffett
Stranger at My Door (TV Movie 1991)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A cop on the run from his mob boss "in-laws" tries to start a new life on a deserted farm with his two children. But things are not that easy.

Director: Vincent McEveety
Stars: Robert Urich, Markie Post, James Gammon
Deadly Relations (TV Movie 1993)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Leonard Fagot has four daughters and loves them so much, that he usurps his control over them. He lets them know how he feels about the men they date. And if he disapproves of them, he ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Robert Urich, Shelley Fabares, Gwyneth Paltrow
Survive the Savage Sea (TV Movie 1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Jack and Claire Carpenter realize his life-long dream by selling the family farm and uprooting their four kids to buy the yacht Providence. Sons Gary, Brian and Timmy give it an honest try ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin James Dobson
Stars: Robert Urich, Ali MacGraw, Danielle von Zerneck
For Love of Olivia (TV Movie 2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

To protect his wife's "secret," a small town Southern lawyer in the 1960's decides to defend a young man accused of murder all while running for Congress and encountering personal threats to his family.

Director: Douglas Barr
Stars: Louis Gossett Jr., Lonette McKee, Kathryne Dora Brown
Precious Victims (TV Movie 1993)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Peter Levin
Stars: Park Overall, Robby Benson, Frederic Forrest
Empty Cradle (TV Movie 1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jane Morgan gives birth to her baby at the hospital. When she wakes up the next morning, the hospital tells her, that her son died at birth. However from ultrasound reading she had before, ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schneider
Stars: Kate Jackson, Lori Loughlin, Eriq La Salle


Cast overview, first billed only:
David Young
Dorsie Young
Kathi Davidson
Melanie Young
James Purcell ...
Cal Fredericks
Robert Bednarski ...
Cody Little
Cecilley Carroll ...
Tracy Little
Sheriff Wolfley
Jake Downey
Tom Little
Elizabeth Lennie ...
Emma Little
Matt Eckhardt
Jane Michaels
Jenny Parsons ...
Lisa Burns
Goldie Semple ...


Teacher Jake Downey has relocated to a small town in Wyoming hoping to escape the urban problems of his last assignment. His myth of rural bliss is shattered when a former police officer comes unglued, builds a bomb and takes Jake's class hostage. The heroism of his true story unfolds as the hostage drama takes many surprising turns towards the phenomenal conclusion. Written by NostalgicNoir

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hostage | based on true story | See All (2) »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A terror fogságában  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When David Young and his wife go into the Principal's office, they tell the principal that the school is being taken hostage. However in interviews of the real people, it was a secretary who was told it was being taken hostage. See more »


Referenced in The Cokeville Miracle (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

David's „Biggie" – sensible account of a true drama
24 July 2006 | by (Zurich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

The main protagonist of these true events, David Young, is a mixture of Charlie Manson and Sonny Wortzig, the bank robber in Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon. One of the most quoted lines of that movie is Wortzig's partner Sal's answer to his question in which country he would like to flee. It's Wyoming.

The drama in this movie actually takes place in Wyoming. The plot does bear a certain resemblance to Dog Day Afternoon. David Young assembles a small gang for his surefire plan to get rich. Only on the big day, referred to by David as „the biggie", do the others learn, what the plan is – get hold of a grammar school and ask the president of the United States a ransom of 2 million US dollars for each kid. He not only wants to transport a huge amount of firearms into the building but also a bomb with a dead man's switch he had already tested on an (empty) school bus. Although his two partners are quick to refuse to take part in this mad scheme and his daughter after some hesitation decides to follow them, Young puts his plans into action together with his wife – with the foreseeable tragic results.

This movie really works very well, the whole cast is outstanding, all the children's performances really are terrific, too, which makes it all the more believable and moving. David Young clearly is at the center of the narrative. He is played by Richard Thomas whom I remembered as the sweet teenager in the Waltons TV series. His is a great and convincingly scary performance of a weird, funny, dangerous and also strangely pitiable man. Young clearly is a man who should have been in medical treatment or institutionalized. He has developed a weird philosophy and is given to long ramblings which do not loose their effect on weak, impressionable characters. This results in his being a kind of a feverish guru with the appeal of a Charles Manson. The movie takes account of the comic as well as the tragic aspect of the situation with excellent pacing and also with respect for all the characters.

Women take an important part in the story. The teachers face Young with remarkable coolness, consoling and disciplining the kids, trying to prevent disaster. On the other side there is Young's loyal wife who is probably not very intelligent but in her way tries to do the same as the teachers. Outstanding for me was the part of Young's daughter, Joanne Vannicola is excellent in that role. The teenage girl is in a coming of age phase and is clearly torn between the loyalty toward her father and the insight that he is simply mad. The scene where she stands in the school corridor with an armful of rifles, looking truly miserable and finally deciding to stand up to her father was for me the highlight of this very watchable movie.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
20 years on and only ONE review and NO comments? borg1005-1
Discuss To Save the Children (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: