Kids Don't Tell

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Kids Don't Tell
JoBeth Williams & Michael Ontkean in a scene from Kids Don't Tell
Genre Drama
Written by Maurice Hurley
Directed by Sam O'Steen
Starring Michael Ontkean
JoBeth Williams
Ari Meyers
Leo Rossi
Joaquin Phoenix
Music by Fred Karlin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Rick Rosenberg
Robert W. Christiansen
Producer(s) Barry Greenfield
Bruce Hendricks (associate producer)
Production location(s) Marina del Rey, California
Cinematography Michael D. Margulies
Editor(s) Randy Roberts
Running time 101 minutes
Production company(s) Chris/Rose Productions
Viacom Productions
Distributor Paramount Television
Original network CBS
Picture format Color
Audio format Stereo
Original release
  • March 5, 1985 (1985-03-05)

Kids Don't Tell is a 1985 American made-for-television drama film about child molestation starring Michael Ontkean and JoBeth Williams. The docudrama, which was directed by Oscar-nominated film editor Sam O'Steen (Chinatown, Postcards from the Edge), was broadcast on CBS on March 5, 1985.[1]


Driven by a duty to his young daughter (Ari Meyers), filmmaker John Ryan (Michael Ontkean) agrees to produce a documentary on the sexual abuse of children in the American status quo. However, his loving wife Claudia (JoBeth Williams) becomes increasingly despondent and troubled as the filmmaker immerses himself further into the project. Ryan obtains participation from a host of experts in the field, including a Los Angeles police detective (Leo Rossi), who provides powerful insight into how the legal system fails, and a habitual molester (Jordan Charney) who tells of his technique for choosing and assaulting his victims.[2]


  • Michael Ontkean ... John Ryan
  • JoBeth Williams ... Claudia Ryan
  • Leo Rossi ... Detective Rastelli
  • Ari Meyers ... Nicky Ryan
  • John Sanderford ... Eli Davis
  • Jordan Charney ... Tatum
  • Joaquin Phoenix (credited as Leaf Phoenix) ... Frankie
  • Robin Gammell ... Dr. Houghton
  • Shelley Morrison ... Carol
  • Jean Bruce Scott ... Clare
  • Matthew Faison ... Evan Harris
  • David S. Aaron ... Waiter
  • Roger Askin ... Man at Wedding
  • Judith Barsi ... Jennifer Ryan
  • Gary Bayer ... Speaker at Meeting
  • Earl Billings ... Terry
  • Dennis Bowen ... Ted
  • Sally Brown ... Jill
  • Victor Campos ... Dale
  • Diane Cary ... Sandra Luce (as Diane Civita)
  • E.M. Fredric ... Cocktail Waitress
  • Kristin Gamboa ... Linda
  • Mari Gorman ... Macy
  • Nancy Lee Grahn ... Puppet Lady
  • Natalie Gregory ... Krista Mueller
  • David Kaufman ... Kenny
  • Charles Lanyer ... Scotty
  • Michael Laskin ... Man at Park
  • Christopher Lofton ... Charles
  • Oceana Marr ... Mildred
  • Bob Minor ... Pool Player
  • Milton Murrill ... Detective Timmy
  • John Napierala ... David
  • David Lloyd Nelson ... Lyle
  • Greg Nourse ... Bartender
  • Steve Pershing ... Officer at Desk (as Stephen Pershing)
  • Branscombe Richmond ... Pool Player
  • Jack Thibeau ... Donny
  • Cori Wellins ... Lisa
  • Jaleel White ... Christofer
  • Barbra Rae ... Daphne


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]

External links

  • Kids Don't Tell on IMDb
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