Adam (1983 film)

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Written byAllan Leicht
Directed byMichael Tuchner
StarringDaniel J. Travanti
JoBeth Williams
Martha Scott
Richard Masur
Paul Regina
Mason Adams
Theme music composerMike Post
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producersJoan Barnett
Alan Landsburg
ProducersLinda Otto
Carol L. Fleisher (associate producer)
Production locationHouston
CinematographyMike Fash
EditorCorky Ehlers
Running time100 minutes
Production companyAlan Landsburg Productions
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 10, 1983 (1983-10-10)

Adam is a 1983 American made-for-television film starring Daniel J. Travanti and JoBeth Williams. It aired on October 10, 1983, on NBC. On its original air date, it was seen by an audience of 38 million people.[1] It was rebroadcast on April 30, 1984, and it was rebroadcast again on April 29, 1985. At the end of each broadcast of the film, a series of missing children's photographs and descriptions were displayed on the screen for viewers, and a telephone number was also given for viewers to call if they had any information about them. The 1985 photograph series was introduced by President Ronald Reagan in a pre-recorded message, "...maybe your eyes can help bring them home."[2] A sequel, Adam: His Song Continues followed on September 29, 1986, also starring Travanti and Williams.

The first part of the film portrays the story of the kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh on July 27, 1981, along with the effects of this event on the marriage of John and Revé Walsh. The second part of the movie focuses on the Walsh's attempts to pass national child protection laws in the wake of Adam's murder, and the formation of awareness groups surrounding child disappearances. The film was written by Allan Leicht and directed by Michael Tuchner.


Filming of the movie was conducted both in and around Houston, Texas. The scenes portrayed at the Hollywood Mall of Hollywood, Florida, were filmed at the now-defunct Westwood Mall in Houston, at the Sears which was one of its former anchor stores.[dead link][3][4] The mall closed in 1998 and was converted to offices. The Sears store where some scenes were filmed closed in 2017 and was converted to an automobile dealership service center.

The Lamaze scene where Reve went into premature labor was filmed at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas.

The three broadcasts of Adam were followed by pictures and descriptions of missing children as of each of the respective broadcasts. A hotline was also active, to take calls regarding the children. This was ultimately credited with finding 13 of 55 children from the 1983 broadcast, including future rapper Bizzy Bone, and 19 of 51 children shown in the 1984 broadcast.[2] As of two days after the 1985 showing, 3,522 calls had been made to the hotline, and 5 of 54 featured missing children had already been found.[5][6]



1984 Primetime Emmy Award nominations:


  1. ^ Divoky, Diane (18 February 1986), "Missing Tot Estimates Exaggerated", Lodi News-Sentinel, p. 2
  2. ^ a b "'Adam' Again Draws Callers", Milwaukee Journal, pp. Life/Style 2, 30 April 1985
  3. ^ "Filming Begins on Television Movie 'Adam'", St. Petersburg Times, pp. 26, TV Dial, 19 June 1983, retrieved 5 June 2010[dead link]
  4. ^ "Filming Starts on TV Movie About Abduction-Murder Of Adam Walsh", Sarasota Herald-Tribune, pp. Section D, State, 8 June 1983, retrieved 30 April 2014
  5. ^ "3 Children Found After Showing of 'Adam'", Pittsburgh Press, pp. A11, 1 May 1985, retrieved 6 June 2010
  6. ^ "Girl Found In North Texas After Tip To National Center", The Victoria Advocate, p. 7F, 2 May 1985, retrieved 30 April 2014

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