Adam (1983 film)

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Genre Drama
Written by Allan Leicht
Directed by Michael Tuchner
Starring Daniel J. Travanti
JoBeth Williams
Martha Scott
Richard Masur
Paul Regina
Mason Adams
Theme music composer Mike Post
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Joan Barnett
Alan Landsburg
Producer(s) Linda Otto
Carol L. Fleisher (associate producer)
Location(s) Houston
Cinematography Mike Fash
Editor(s) Corky Ehlers
Running time 100 minutes
Production company(s) Alan Landsburg Productions
Distributor NBC
Original network NBC
Original release October 10, 1983
Followed by Adam: His Song Continues (1986)

Adam is a 1983 American 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 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 number was given to call if a viewer had 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 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, and at the Sears which was one of its former anchor stores.[dead link][3][4] The Sears store where some scenes were filmed is still standing.[citation needed]

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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