Don't Say a Word

Last Update: 23 February 2002
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In Don't Say a Word, Sean plays Patrick Koster, the mastermind of a heist gone awry, who can only get the loot if he can get a psychiatrist to unlock the mind of a near-catatonic patient (Brittany Murphy). Michael Douglas plays the psychiatrist, whose young daughter (Skye McCole Bartusiak) is kidnapped by Koster.

Preeminent New York psychiatrist Dr. Nathan Conrad has a successful Upper West Side practice, a beautiful wife and a charming daughter. Making his way home to begin a tranquil Thanksgiving holiday, Conrad is summoned by a colleague to examine a young woman. Elisabeth Burrows presents a history of unexplained violence and a miasma of failed treatments and misdiagnoses. In short, Elisabeth is the kind of case Nathan used to live for before he went "uptown." Now, he is Elisabeth's last chance before she is shipped off to a purgatory of state institutionalization.

Nathan's skills and intuition make headway into Elisabeth's case, and his curiosity is further aroused by her mysterious first words to him: "You want what they want, don't you? … I'll never tell … any of you."

Little does Nathan suspect that Elisabeth and her cryptic message are tied to a danger that has closed in on him and his family. Nathan's daughter has been kidnapped by ruthless thieves, and to save her, he somehow must unlock a six-digit number locked away in Elisabeth's troubled mind. There is no discussion, no negotiation. With his daughter's captors watching his every move, Nathan is trapped in a nightmare even he could never have envisioned. And as Nathan is reminded constantly by his tormentors: if he wants to see his daughter alive, he dare not say a single word.

Principal photography began in New York on 08 December 2000 and continued until December 20th. Further filming took place in Toronto and New York from 05 January until 31 March 2001.

Click here for Production Notes.

Location Notes:

Don't Say a Word was shot on location and in studios in New York and Toronto.

New York locations included:

  • Mott Street, Canal Street and Cortlandt Alley in Manhattan
  • Subway entrance on south side of Canal Street between Lafayette and Centre Streets in Chinatown
  • Eldridge Street
  • On Broadway, opposite Peter Luger's Steakhouse, in Brooklyn
  • City Island (Bronx)
  • Fenton Marina (King Avenue at Fordham Place) (doubled as a correctional facility).
  • Shore Road (Bronx)
  • Hart Island


Canadian locations included:



Don't Say a Word is based on the novel of the same name by Andrew Klavan, which won the 1992 Edgar Award for Best Novel. The script was in development for more than five years.

Visit the Official Don't Say a Word website (you'll need Flash).
Visit New Regency website.
Visit the 20th Century Fox movie website.
Visit the Don't Say a Word Press Archive (includes reviews).
Visit the Don't Say a Word Picture Gallery.
View the official trailer here or here (Quicktime 5 required).
Click here for DVD info.
Click here for DSAW North American Box Office Totals.


Michael Douglas
Sean Bean
Brittany Murphy
Oliver Platt
Guy Torry
Famke Janssen
Jennifer Esposito
Skye McCole Bartusiak
Conrad Goode
Shawn Doyle
Victor Argo
Paul Schulze
Lance Reddick

Dr. Nathan Conrad
Patrick Koster
Elisabeth Burrows
Dr. Louis Sachs
Martin Dolen
Aggie Conrad
Det. Sandra Cassidy
Jessie Conrad
Max J. Dunlevy
Russell Maddox
Sydney Simon
Arnie Carter

A 20th Century Fox release of a Regency Enterprises and Village Roadshow Pictures presentation in association with NPV Entertainmentof a Kopelson Entertainment, New Regency, Further Films production.

Executive Producers
Produced by
Based on the Novel by
Directed by
Costume Design
Film Editors
Distributed by
Release Date

Jeffrey Downer and Bruce Berman
Andrew Klavan, Nana Greenwald
Arnon Milchan, Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson
Anthony Peckham, Patrick Smith Kelly
Andrew Klavan
Gary Fleder
Ellen Mirojnick
William Steinkamp, Armen Minasian
Mark Isham
Amir Mokri
20th Century Fox (US)
Restricted (US)
28 September 2001 (US)
22 February 2002 (UK)



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