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. 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." 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. The Sears store where some scenes were filmed is still standing.
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. 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.Daniel J. Travanti as John Walsh
JoBeth Williams as Revé Walsh
Martha Scott as Gram Walsh
Richard Masur as Jay Howell
Paul Regina as Joe Walsh
Mason Adams as Ray Mellette
Tony Frank as Lt. Richard Hynds
John M. Jackson as Det. Jim Gibbons
Alex Harvey as Det. Jack Hoffman
1984 Primetime Emmy Award nominations:Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special (Alan Landsburg, Joan Barnett, executive producers; Linda Otto, producer)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special (Daniel J. Travanti)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special (JoBeth Williams)
Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or a Special (Allan Leicht)