The Unsaid

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The Unsaid
The Unsaid DVD Cover
Directed by Tom McLoughlin
Written by Story:
Christopher Murphey
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Scott Williams
Starring Andy Garcia, Vincent Kartheiser, Linda Cardellini
Music by Don Davis
Cinematography Lloyd Ahern II
Edited by Charles Bornstein
Release dates
  • July 24, 2001 (2001-07-24)
Running time
111 min
Country Canada
United States
Language English

The Unsaid is a 2001 thriller/drama film directed by Tom McLoughlin and starring Andy Garcia that was released in 2001. It is also known under the name The Ties That Bind and its working title Sins of the Father. The film was released straight to DVD in the US, UK, and Canada but premiered in theaters in other parts of Europe and Asia.[1]

The film follows Michael Hunter's (Andy Garcia) struggle to cope with his son's suicide and his attempt to rehabilitate Thomas Caffey (Vincent Kartheiser), who reminds him of his own son.


"A seemingly-untroubled adolescent carries disturbing secrets that compel a psychiatrist to unearth the patient's gruesome past."

The Psychiatrist Michael Hunter (Andy Garcia) and his wife are watching their daughter Shelly's school play. Their son Kyle, who is suffering from depression, stays at home, because he can not stand being among people as he says. While the parents are applauding Shelly, Kyle commits suicide in family's garage.

Several years later the family has fallen apart because of their loss. Michael retreats, writes books, holds speeches for University students, but he no longer treats patients. When his former student Barbara Wagner approaches him asking for help with a case he initially refuses, but then gives in to taking over the case of 17-year-old Thomas "Tommy" Caffey (Vincent Kartheiser), who had had to watch his father murder his mother. It is Michael's job to decide if the teenager can leave the psychiatric facility when he turns eighteen. But while working with Tommy, Michael realizes how much the boy reminds him of his own son Kyle and feelings of guilt arise in the psychologist.

In flashbacks and conversations the viewer receives background information of Kyle's suicide. Michael had had his son see a therapist, an old university friend, Harry Quinlan, instead of taking medication. In his son's suicide letter Michael finds out that Kyle was sexually abused by Quinlan. When Michael wants to confront Quinlan, he doesn't answer the door. From the back door, Michael then sees how Quinlan holds a gun to his own head and commits suicide, while Michael angrily yells at him to shoot himself.

Tommy kills a girl at a party because she wanted to have sex with him. At the same party Tommy befriends Shelly and they get closer. Shelly tells Tommy about Kyle. From then on Tommy uses the information in therapy sessions and manipulates Michael, who more and more sees his own son in him.

When Michael visits Tommy's father in prison he finds out that Tommy's mother misused him as a lover and slept with him regularly, the reason why the father, who came home early one day, bludgeoned the mother to death.

In the last part of the movie Tommy tries to make Barbara release him to an independent life. When she refuses he breaks into her apartment through a glass door and knocks her out. He flees with a stolen car and armed with a weapon he picks up Shelly from her mother's house and speeds off with her. Michael finds the severely wounded Barbara in her apartment and follows Tommy. The boy's flight comes to an end at the train tracks. Michael confronts Tommy with what his mother did and Tommy surrenders. When a train approaches Tommy tears loose from Michael's embrace and runs onto the tracks. At the last second Michael can throw him off the tracks.

In the closing scene Michael and Tommy light-heartedly play ball at the institution.


Actor Role
Andy Garcia Michael Hunter
Vincent Kartheiser Thomas Caffey
Trevor Blumas Kyle Hunter
Linda Cardellini Shelly Hunter
Sam Bottoms Mr. Joseph Caffey
August Schellenberg Det. Hannah
Chelsea Field Penny Hunter
Brendan Fletcher Troy Pasternak
Teri Polo Barbara Wagner


International Film Festival of Marrakech, 2001

  • Won Audience Award - Tom McLoughlin
  • Nominated Golden Star - Tom McLoughlin[1]


  1. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2007-03-19. 

External links[edit]