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Kids Don't Tell (1985)

When a documentary-maker begins to make a film about child sexual abuse, the subject begins to eat into him and affect his relationship with those around him, particularly his wife.


Sam O'Steen


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Ontkean ... John Ryan
JoBeth Williams ... Claudia Ryan
Leo Rossi ... Detective Rastelli
John Sanderford ... Eli Davis
Ari Meyers ... Nicky Ryan
Jordan Charney ... Tatum
Robin Gammell ... Dr. Houghton
Shelley Morrison ... Carol
Jean Bruce Scott ... Clare
Matthew Faison Matthew Faison ... Evan Harris
David S. Aaron David S. Aaron ... Waiter
Roger Askin Roger Askin ... Man at Wedding
Judith Barsi ... Jennifer Ryan
Gary Bayer Gary Bayer ... Speaker at Meeting
Earl Billings ... Terry


When a documentary-maker begins to make a film about child sexual abuse, the subject begins to eat into him and affect his relationship with those around him, particularly his wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

5 March 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A gyerekek hallgatnak See more »

Filming Locations:

Marina del Rey, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


What'll I Do
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Linda Ronstadt
Courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Terrific but now go watch 'Indictment' and' Just ask my children'
20 June 2016 | by JoxerlivesSee all my reviews

Watched this film many years ago and it was terrific. Rewatched it recently and was disappointed because it was the PG version and missed out many of the most intense and important scenes, the interview with the arrested paedophile, the rows between the husband and wife because the memories his research is bringing back have put her off sex, the plight of the child street hooker, the shocked mother relating how she discovered incest in her family, the paedophile support group meetings in which we see the human side of the offenders and not just the victims. In fact if you watch the PG version so much is missing it is quite baffling. Great performance from Michael Oatkean (and how HANDSOME he was!)and nice to see Jean Bruce Scott who was one of my favourites from Airwolf.

BUT.... Then we have that scene where we see the social worker interviewing the kid using puppets and anatomically correct dolls and the warning flags go up. Nowadays such techniques are totally discredited having been shown to induce false testimony from children, especially with zealous investigators like the detective portrayed here. Watch 'Just ask my children' and 'Indictment; The McMartin Trial' to see what happened AFTER this film was released, the hysteria coupled with flawed investigative techniques leading to families ripped apart and innocent people spending years in prison.

So yes, watch this terrific film but then watch 'Indictment' and 'Just Ask My Children'.

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