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Film / Without a Trace

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A 1983 drama directed by Stanley R Jaffe based on Still Missing by author Beth Gutcheon and the disappearance of Etan Pataz.

A boy disappears when going to school and the police are called to locate him and find out where he is and what had happened to him.

The film stars Kate Nelligan, Judd Hirsch, David Dukes, and Stockard Channing and was released on February 4, 1983.

Not to be confused with the show Without a Trace, which ran from 2002-2009.


Tropes for the film:

  • Adult Fear: Susan's son disappeared after she saw him off and there are worries that he might not even be alive.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: The building's handyman, after the police find a bloodstained pair of boy's underwear among his things. He tells them that he cut his hand and grabbed the first thing he could find to use as a bandage (the briefs had presumably been discarded some time before).
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Based on the disappearance of Etan Patz.
    • Though Patz has never been found (though his murderer was recently convicted), Alex is found alive and is reunited with his mother in the end.

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