I Know My First Name is Steven (1989)

“I know my first name is Steven. I think my last name is Stayner.” – Steven Gregory Stayner

Number of Times Seen – Twice (22 May 1989 and 30 May 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of a teenager who was kidnapped as a child and was torn between his loyalty to his family and his kidnapper.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I recall watching when it originally aired on TV in 1989 in two parts.

It was quite powerful then and in some ways even more powerful rewatching it after 30+ years.

This movie tries to show the various loyalties that kidnapping victims might face both during and after their ordeal.

The story isn’t sugarcoated at all and they allow us to get a clear idea of the kind of lifestyle that kidnapping victim like the one here needed to deal with.

They also try to find the key to unlocking the psychological effects that these characters face due to the trauma they all must experience in different ways.

The film has a great cast with John Ashton and Cindy Pickett as the distraught parents.

Corin Nemec is quite powerful as the teenage victim and shows lots of dramatic range with this character.

Arliss Howard gives a very creepy performance as the kidnapper and we can easily understand why he is such a feared character.

The choice to break the story up into different segments works really well since it allows the viewer to get a much clearer idea as to what is happening to each of the characters on both a physical and psychological level throughout.

The story becomes even more powerful since we get to see the way that they all react as the events progress.

Bottom Line – Really powerful story that established the kind of loyalty issues that young kidnapping victims can face. The movie doesn’t at all sugarcoat the kind of lifestyle that this person was subjected to after being kidnapped, but they try to find a way to unlock the psychological effects on everyone involved. The cast is great with Pickett Ashton and Nemec giving great performances. Howard gives a very creepy performance here that resonates so well why he is so feared. The story is broken up really well between the various time periods and allows the viewer to get a clear idea of everything that happened during each of the time periods which helps make things even more powerful to watch because we get to see how time has affected each of the characters. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The real Steven was paid $30,000 for the movie. He died in a motorcycle accident shortly after this movie was released. He was 24, with a wife and two children. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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2 thoughts on “I Know My First Name is Steven (1989)

  1. Pingback: MovieRob Monthy Roundup – May 2020 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1989 | MovieRob

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