Not Without My Daughter (1991)


Not Without My Daughter is a film released in 1991 depicting the escape of American citizen Betty Mahmoody and her daughter from her husband in Iran. The film was shot in the United States and Israel, and the main characters are played by Sally Field and Alfred Molina. Sheila Rosenthal and Roshan Seth also co-star as Mahtob Mahmoody and Houssein the smuggler, respectively.


An Iranian immigrant in the USA, Sayed Bozorg Mahmoody travels from the United States to Iran with his U.S.-born wife (Betty) and daughter (Mahtob) to visit his family. Once there, Moody gradually reveals to Betty that he wants to remain in Iran, thinking that it would be a better place for the family. Betty disagrees and wants to leave with her daughter, although Moody is determined not to let that happen. Over time, Moody becomes increasingly unstable and violent, taking advantage of Iranian laws to strike and terrorize his wife and daughter. Betty subsequently discovers that if Moody divorced her, under the laws of Iran, he would get sole custody of Mahtob. With no other choice, Betty takes Mahtob and they flee together, overland to Turkey and then back to America with the aid of people-smugglers.