Dead Silence (1997)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  11 January 1997 (USA)
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Three escaped convicts from prison take a group of deaf students hostage and hold them captive to keep the authorities at bay. FBI agent John Potter (James Garner) leads the FBIs hostage ... See full summary »



(novel), (teleplay)
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Title: Dead Silence (TV Movie 1997)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Potter
Melanie Charrol
Det. Sharon Foster
Roland W. Marks
Ray 'Sonny' Bonner
Shephard Wilcox
Sheriff Gene Stillwell
Vanessa Vaughan ...
Special Agent Henry Lebow
Donna Harkstrawn
Officer Stevie Cardy
Major Daniel Tremaine
Airport Security Officer


Three escaped convicts from prison take a group of deaf students hostage and hold them captive to keep the authorities at bay. FBI agent John Potter (James Garner) leads the FBIs hostage rescue team in their efforts to get the kids released without harm and also to capture the escapees. The children's teacher Melanie (Marlee Matlin), uses sign language to assist the agents in expediting surrender of the convicts. Written by Richard Jones <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Three escaped convicts. Seven young hostages. Once chance for survival.


Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Silence - Flammen in der Stille  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of "Theodore 'Ted' Handy" is a reference to Theodore 'Ted' Bundy a notorious serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, and necrophiliac who assaulted, kidnapped, raped, and murdered dozens of young women throughout the 1970s, and maybe earlier. While being pursued, then caught, and prosecuted, and imprisoned, he made continuous and consistent denials, only confessing, immediately prior to his execution, to about 30 murders committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978. His actual number of victims is still unknown, and is likely considerably higher. Bundy was considered handsome and charismatic by his victims and potential victims, which he exploited in order to gain their trust. He typically approached them in public places, faking a disability or injury, occasionally impersonating some sort of authority figure, thereafter overpowering and assaulting his victims in a quiet, remote location, such as the abandoned building as depicted in this movie. Bundy was executed by the State of Florida in 1989. See more »


When Ted gets into the disabled red van, the hood is closed. After it fails to start and he gets out of the van, the hood is open. See more »

Crazy Credits

The F.B.I. and the Coast Guard were not involved in the production of and did not endorse or approve the making of this film, or any part of it. See more »

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User Reviews

Better then I had expected
21 December 2004 | by (Adelaide, Australia) – See all my reviews

The film started off pretty ordinary with the hijacking of a bus full of deaf students and their teacher. But as it progresses it turns into quite an enjoyable and dramatic thriller.

I have not read the book this film is based on but from what I saw I would say the film is above the average for a "made for TV" movie.

Only one complaint here and that was why they felt the need to throw in swear words every few minutes just to make the film feel somewhat contemporary. At least that's the impression I got. From my POV it felt like they had just thrown in one two many of those special magic words and this ruined part of the enjoyment of this film for me.

Having said all this I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who likes drama/thriller kind of movies. On the whole it's not a bad experience at all. Plus you have classic actors like James Garner and Marlee Matlin, what more could you want?


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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