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Kristen (Gabrielle Anwar) has reluctantly made peace with the loss of her son Mark (Chace Crawford) when her estranged husband Quinn (Craig Sheffer) took him for the weekend and went sailing in a dangerous storm 14 years ago. She has remarried and moved on. But while watching a vacation video her friends took while on a remote island, Kristen sees a glimpse of two faces in the background - faces, she is convinced, are Mike - and her long lost son Mark. Kristen immediately flies to the small Caribbean island. She discovers that Quinn and Mark have established themselves as "Captain John" and "Matthew" - and they charter a boat to tourists. Mike has left for a few days, leaving Mark in charge of the business. She plans to meet the next day. When Mike calls in to Mark that evening, however, he is tipped off by an innocent clue - and he immediately orders an unsuspecting Mark to pack up the boat and leave. This time she's not going to give up.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Made for US TV by expat Aussie director Brian Trenchard-Smith (who made his movie bones with Ozploitation films in the 70s), and written by Brit Richard Blade, Long Lost Son is an economically crafted drama driven by intrigue. And gorgeous locations. Long Lost Son is a world away from Ozploitation, a family drama with unusual elements. The story kicks off with a marriage breakdown and continues with the disappearance of father and son in what is believed to be a boating accident. A storm ...

It's Gabrielle Anwar's performance as the anguished mother, Kristen, that makes the film so engaging, as she rebuilds her life, only to have a friend's holiday video split it wide open again. On the video, from a Caribbean holiday, she recognises her ex husband and the boy who must be her 18 year old son, played effortlessly by the handsome and likeable Chace Crawford.

Spurred into action, Kristen drops everything, and with the moral support of her (new) husband, flies to the Caribbean to find her son. The mystery of his life and her search - and a seed of doubt that it IS him - help keep the suspense taut as she encounters obstacles, including the local police chief.

The film has something to say about the problems of marriage break ups and the desperation of parents who fear losing their child to the other party, and even though the resolution is well plotted, there is a high degree of optimism behind it. If only people really did learn life lessons and really could change, they may never have got divorced in the first place. Writer Richard Blade has a small role as an expat Aussie - barman, natch - on the tiny island. Wishful thinking on his part perhaps, but he does it well.

Published February 5, 2009

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(US, 2006)

CAST: Gabrielle Anwar, Craig Sheffer, Chace Crawford, Philip Granger, Richard Blade, Dennis Garber, Ian Robison, Joshua Friesen, Michael McConnohie, Holly Fulger

PRODUCER: Sylvia Hess

DIRECTOR: Brian Trenchard-Smith

SCRIPT: Richard Blade


EDITOR: John Blizek

MUSIC: David Reynolds


RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes



DVD RELEASE: January 23, 2008

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