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When Andrew Came Home (2000)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  30 October 2000 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 381 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

A mother searches for five years to find her kidnapped son in this fact-based drama. Unexpectedly the boy is found, but the reunion is not as she hoped. She now has to deal with five years ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gail
...
Eddie
...
Andrew
Lynne Deragon ...
Joanne
Craig Eldridge ...
Jack
...
Deena Drake
...
Ted
Patrick Chilvers ...
Officer Reston
...
Mr. Kemper
Stan Coles ...
Dr. Burton
Eve Crawford ...
Janet Hilgarde
Jean Daigle ...
Officer Pearl
...
Highway Cop
...
Carl Rudnick
...
Dr. Matthews
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Storyline

A mother searches for five years to find her kidnapped son in this fact-based drama. Unexpectedly the boy is found, but the reunion is not as she hoped. She now has to deal with five years of abuse that the boy suffered at the hands of his kidnappers. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A kidnapped child... A Mother's desperate five-year search... a reunion that neither one expected. See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

30 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le martyr d'Andrew  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Ted was tried, found guilty, and went to prison. See more »

Quotes

Andrew: [tells Gail about his revelations after the kidnapping, sobs] We never stayed at the same place for long. We always moved around, mostly motels. The last place we lived - the one we stayed the longest - was a trailer. He wouldn't let me go outside during the day; I just stayed in the room watching TV. I didn't go to school, I didn't know any kids my age. There was just daddy, her, and me. Pattie, she - she hit me. He locked me in the closet. At night, they would put me outside on a long leash. I...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
The darker side of the bitterness of divorce
22 May 2006 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

'Taming Andrew' (as this film is titled in the UK) is an insight into how children abducted from their custodial parent by the parent who lost the court battles are not always raised in happy, loving environments. It is a sad film into how one child's life was devastated by his bitter father whose only interest in his son was to use him as a means to hurt his ex-wife.

The film centres on Gail, whose second husband Eddie has become a loving father figure to her three-year-old son Andrew, with the three of them forming a close family unit. However, Andrew's natural father Ted still have visitation rights so one summer afternoon he arrives to take his young son for the day. Only this time, he has no intention of returning the boy. Five years pass, during which a devastated Gail never gives up on her son, when suddenly Ted calls and announces he's sending Andrew home. But the withdrawn, emotionally-stunted eight-year-old Gail and Eddie collect is a far cry from the sunny-natured toddler they remembered. Gail soon discovers that while she might physically have her son back, she faces another fight to help this skittish, traumatised child reintegrate into the family and into society in general while finding the key to unlocking what brutalities he endured at the hands of his father during the years he was missing.

Young Seth Adkins was absolutely phenomenal as Andrew, giving a breath-taking performance of a little boy who is emotionally deeply hurt and whose behaviour is almost feral in nature. Through Adkins', you truly get a sense that Andrew is very much a frustrated and angry boy taught to react on instinct, knowing what he's doing is often wrong but is unable to stop himself even though he really does just want to be 'normal'. Park Overall also gives a strong performance as Gail, the devoted mother who is determined never to give up on her son while battling her own underlying guilt for letting him go with Ted in the first place.

'Taming Andrew' really depicts the hard lives faced by many children involved in familial abduction where they are often made to move from place-to-place and, in the case of those kidnapped out of vindictiveness rather than love, they have to endure abuse by those who are meant to care for them. In many ways, Andrew's situation is made worse by the fact it was his own father who ruined his childhood rather than some random stranger and this is something touched upon in the film. It also shows that when children are returned, it isn't easy to adjust back into their family and school (and I imagine that is the case even for kids who have been well-cared for).

This is a poignant film that doesn't deviate from the realities of surviving child abuse and abduction with engaging performances by all involved. It might be a made-for-TV drama but it's still first class.


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