Prisoners (1981 film)

Directed by Peter Werner
Produced by Antony I. Ginnane
John Barnett
Keith Barish
David Hemmings
Craig Baumgarten
Brian W. Cook
Screenplay by Meridith Baer
Hilary Henkin
Based on story by Meredith Baer
Starring Tatum O'Neal
Colin Friels
Shirley Knight
David Hemmings
Bruno Lawrence
Ralph Cotterill
Music by Peter Sullivan
Cinematography James Glennon
Edited by Adrian Carr
Endeavour Productions
Lemon Crest
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 1981 (1981)
Running time
95 minutes
Country New Zealand
United States
Language English

Prisoners is a 1981 American-New Zealand drama film directed by Peter Werner and starring Tatum O'Neal, Colin Friels and David Hemmings.[1]

Although its budget was roughly $4.2 million it was never released. Although myth has arisen that Tatum's father Ryan O'Neal purchased the rights to the film to prevent its release, this is in fact untrue. The New Zealand producers of the film state that in actuality there was a dispute between the film's completion guarantor and 20th Century Fox and Fox elected not to release the film as it protected their financial status.


An American moves his family to New Zealand where he takes charge of a prison in Wellington. His young daughter begins to have a love affair with one of the prisoners in his charge.



The film was shot in Auckland from 29 June to 14 August 1982.[2]


  2. Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p125
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