Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story (1993) starring Mariel Hemingway, Clancy Brown, Jeff Kober, James Russo directed by Richard A. Colla
Cathy Mahone's (Mariel Hemingway) marriage to Ali (Andrew Masset), an Arab, didn't last but it did leave her with a daughter who she shares custody with. But things turn bad when during one of his visits Ali flies back to Jordan and takes their seven year old daughter with him. Having gone through the legal route to try and get her daughter back only to find the U.S. government unable to intervene Cathy hires a team of Special Forces soldiers to head in to Jordan and bring her daughter home.
If someone had asked me to write a fictional drama about a woman whose daughter is taken overseas by her ex-husband I would have come up with much of what goes on in the made for TV movie "Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story". That is to take nothing away from the true story on which this made for TV movie is based but more to do with the fact that "Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story" features several cliche elements which dominate these sorts of movies.
As such we get a portion of the movie which deals with the desperate situation of Cathy as she is unable to find help by going through the legal avenues leading to her finding her home a place of memories and causing the sort of depression where people can't bring themselves to get dressed. We also get the emotional manipulation with Ali allowing Cathy to speak to their daughter on the phone and not only does the daughter have one of those sweet voices of an innocent child but the scene is filmed in such away to add to that aspect of emotional manipulation.
Now unlike other abduction movies "Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story" this story does see her going to a group of retired special forces soldiers to help her get her child back which when that part of the movie happens it becomes entertaining. But sadly all the scenes building up to this as Cathy tries to raise the money whilst the former soldiers are concerned as this isn't what they usually do don't have the impact to make the story come alive and rise up above the other familiar aspects.
What this all boils down to is that "Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story" is entertaining in a typical made for TV way but it is a story which to me probably has the greatest power for those close to the people involved and like some true story movies it doesn't translate well for those who stumble across it who don't know the ins and outs of the true story.