Seventeen-year-old Anne Benedict (Kathleen Quinlan) is rumored to have worked miracles. Unfortunately, her father, Mafia godfather Frank Benedict (Alfred Ryder), is holding her incommunicado at his mansion. Bishop Francis Paul Logan (E.G. Marshall) hires atheist private detective Dave Hatcher (Robert Wagner) to do two things: determine if Anne can really work miracles, and, if so, abduct her so she can be transported to a convent in Argentina for further study. Dave reluctantly investigates, but his interest increases after an attempt on his life.
The Abduction of Saint Anne contains examples of:
- Booby Trap: To foil his killers, Dave rents two motel rooms, one under his own name and one under no name, then stays in the no name room. He sees two goons going into the room rented under his name. When he carefully pushes the door open with a broom, it explodes.
- Bridal Carry: Dave carries Anne to the van this way.
- Cut Phone Lines: Dave cuts the Benedicts' phone line before he abducts Anne.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Frank banned Anne from going to school or talking to any of her friends after she expressed interest in becoming a nun.
- Freeze-Frame Ending: Of Anne waving goodbye to Dave, as he leaves her to her new life of freedom in a village in Mexico.
- Heaven Seeker: Genry will die of cancer in three months. He plans to spend that time in a monastery atoning for his many sins, thus reaching Purgatory, where he will probably remain for a very long time. He plans to abduct Anne and hold her hostage for a papal decree that every religious house on Earth pray for his soul for ninety-nine years, greatly hastening his journey to Heaven.
- I Never Got Any Letters: Anne's friend Wayne Putnam (George McCallister) sneaks in to visit her and asks, "Why haven't you answered my letters?" Anne replies, "What letters?" Horrified, Wayne says, "What are they doing to you?"
- Instant Sedation: When Anne screams and struggles, Dave presses a cloth to her face. She passes out in a few seconds.
- The Kindnapper: Dave suspects Logan of only wanting to use Anne to glorify himself, but his own motives are pure - he wants to get Anne away from her terrible home situation.
- Like Parent, Unlike Child: When Dave expresses disbelief that Frank Benedict's daughter is a candidate for sainthood, Logan says, "Grace is the gift of God. I don't think one's mother or father has anything to do with it."
- Look Both Ways: One of Anne's miracles is the healing of a three-year-old boy whose legs were crushed by a news truck because he leapt from his father's pickup truck without looking around first.
- Title In: "Las Palomas Arizona," "The Vatican Rome," and "Salem Massachusetts."
- Vehicular Sabotage: Dave realizes his brake lines have been cut while he's driving downhill. His truck drives off-road and rolls over, but he manages to avoid serious injury.
- You're Insane!: Dave's response, word for word, to Gentry's plan. Gentry responds, "Well, it may sound that way to you. You're a young man. I'm an old man. I'm an old man who's been told he's dying."