The Tie That Binds
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The Tie That Binds is a 1995 thriller film directed by screenwriter Wesley Strick and starring Daryl Hannah, Keith Carradine, Vincent Spano, Moira Kelly and Julia Devin. Strick s directing debut, the film follows the struggles of a couple who have just adopted a 6-year-old girl, only to discover that her biological parents, a murderous couple, are trying to reclaim her.

Released in the United States on September 8, 1995, The Tie That Binds grossed over $5 million at the domestic box office. At the 17th annual Young Artist Awards in 1996, Julia Devin was nominated for Best Young Supporting Actress – Feature Film, but lost out to Kristy Young, who was in the movie Gordy.


In California, John Netherwood (Keith Carradine) and his wife Leann Netherwood (Daryl Hannah) are fugitives who are wanted for murder. They have a 6-year-old daughter named Janie (Julia Devin).

John and Leann are robbing a house when the elderly residents of the house show up. After killing the two residents, John and Leann go outside, where there are cops waiting. John and Leann escape after John gets shot by Officer David Carrey (Ned Vaughn). Janie is found in the car that John and Leann left behind, and Janie is placed up for adoption.

Helped by adoption agency case worker Maggie Hass (Jenny Gago), Los Angeles architect Russell Clifton (Vincent Spano) and his photographer wife Dana (Moira Kelly) adopt Janie, welcoming a traumatized Janie into their home. Though intelligent and charming, Janie s behavior is very disturbing: She hides in closets, cuts herself, steals food, and draws monstrous pictures of the Tooth Fairy, of whom she s terrified. Russell and Dana believe that with love, Janie will be alright.

The Netherwoods begin planning to reclaim Janie. Leann picks up Officer Carrey, and John tortures the name of the adoption agency out of Carrey before John slits Carrey s throat, killing Carrey. The Netherwoods then force Maggie to tell them who adopted Janie, then they kill Maggie. At the same time, Russell and Dana have found out who Janie s biological parents are. Leann tries to kidnap Janie from school, forcing the Cliftons to go into hiding with Janie.

The Netherwoods track down the Cliftons friends, Lisa Marie Chandler (Cynda Williams) and her husband Gil Chandler (Bruce A. Young), and Leann threatens to hurt the Chandlers newborn baby, forcing Lisa Marie to tell Leann where the Cliftons are hiding—a half-built house that Russell designed for himself, Dana, and Janie.

The Netherwoods head to the half-built house and take Janie and the Cliftons hostage. John sets the house on fire. Russell and John struggle with each other, then John starts running through the burning house looking for Janie, who has now run off into the nearby woods. Along the way, John runs into Leann in the blinding smoke. Leann has found Dana and Janie, and has had a change of heart. Because of that, John kills Leann by snapping her neck.

Dana runs into the woods to find Janie, and John is following Dana. John is the first to find Janie, and Janie pulls out a knife, stabs John in the stomach, and then says I learned that from you, daddy. Dana finds Janie just as an enraged John, realizing that Janie will never love him, attempts to kill them both, until Russell shows up, carrying a log the size of a baseball bat, and knocks John to the ground. As a weakened John attempts to get back up, Russell uses the log to smash his head, killing John. Janie finally feels comfortable about being with the Cliftons and accepts them as her family.


  • Daryl Hannah as Leann Netherwood
  • Keith Carradine as John Netherwood
  • Vincent Spano as Russell Clifton
  • Moira Kelly as Dana Clifton
  • Julia Devin as Janie
  • Bruce A. Young as Gil Chandler
  • Cynda Williams as Lisa Marie Chandler
  • Ray Reinhardt as Sam Bennett
  • Barbara Tarbuck as Jean Bennett
  • Carmen Argenziano as Phil Hawkes
  • Jenny Gago as Maggie Hass
  • Ned Vaughn as Officer David Carrey
  • George Marshall Ruge as Detective Frank Mercer


The Tie That Binds was heavily panned by critics—particularly Leonard Maltin, who called it …sleazy, insultingly derivative, and full of dangling plot issues. The film holds a rating of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 12 critics.

Year 1995
ReleaseDate 1995-09-08
RuntimeMins 99
RuntimeStr 1h 39min
Plot John Netherwood and his wife Leann are fugitives who are both wanted for murder. They have a young daughter named Janie. John and Leann are in the process of robbing a house when the two residents of the house show up. John kills …
Awards Awards, 1 nomination
Directors Wesley Strick
Writers Michael Auerbach
Stars Daryl Hannah, Keith Carradine, Moira Kelly
Produced by Jon Brown,Robert W. Cort,Ted Field,Lauren Lloyd,David Madden,Patrick Markey,John Morrissey,Katherine Orrison,Susan Zachary
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography by Bobby Bukowski
Film Editing by Michael N. Knue
Casting By Marci Liroff
Production Design by Marcia Hinds
Art Direction by Bo Johnson
Set Decoration by Don Diers
Costume Design by Betsy Heimann
Makeup Department Fríða Aradóttir,Jean Ann Black,John Blake,Bonnie Clevering
Production Management Geno Escarrega,Karen Hughes,Patrick Markey
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Sarah Addington,John Cameron,Patrick Markey,Conte Mark Matal,John Moio,Eric Small
Art Department Jeff Balsmeyer,Tighe Barry,Walter Cahall,William K. Dolan,Susan Mina Eschelbach,Tracy Farrington,Robert Loyal Good,Robert E. Knight,Charles R. Lipscomb,Marc Meisels,Barbara Mesney,Jon P. Mooers,Steve Morey,David J. Negron,Rich Rohrer,Laurie Stevens,Kim Wong,Michael Wright
Sound Department George Baetz,Bobbi Banks,Bruce Bell,Brian Best,Robert Eber,David Farmer,Robert Friedman,Frank A. Fuller Jr.,Ginger Geary,Tim Song Jones,Lee Lemont,Robert J. Litt,Anthony Milch,Jay Nierenberg,Thomas J. O Connell,Greg P. Russell,Jim Saunders,Janelle Showalter,Roger V. Stevenson,Elliot Tyson,Donald L. Warner Jr.,Aaron D. Weisblatt,Bernard Weiser,Steven D. Williams,Jack Keller,Donald C. Rogers
Special Effects by Jeff Denes,Richard Stutsman
Visual Effects by Peter Donen,David Fuhrer
Stunts Derek Barton,Phil Culotta,Laura Dash,J. Mark Donaldson,Corey Michael Eubanks,Debbie Evans,Donna Evans,Donna Garrett,Nick Hermz,Larry Holt,Rob King,Steven Lambert,John Moio,Tom Morga,Glenn Randall Jr.,Debby Lynn Ross,Fred Scheiwiller,Monty L. Simons,Victoria Vanderkloot
Camera and Electrical Department Huston Beaumont,Mike Benson,Nils Benson,Erik L. Brown,Robin Brown,Joseph V. Cicio,Kenny Davis,Sam Emerson,Jack English,Erik A. Erichsen,Robert K. Feldmann,Gene Hara,D.J. Harder,Irv Katz,Christopher Lyons,Willie Mann,Scott McInteer,Steven R. Morales,David W. Nims,Boris Price,Christian Silver,Charles Smith,Chris Squires,Chris Thornton,Stephen Thorp
Casting Department Lisa S. Beasley,Rebecca C. Crespi,Barbara Harris,Patricia McCorkle,Shawne Rowe,Melissa M. Thomas
Costume and Wardrobe Department Pikke Allen,Carol Lupo,Patia Prouty,Joan Thomas
Editorial Department Mary Blee,Gloria Kaiser,Sharon McGeeney,Tim Pedegana,Rick Scheil,Erin Scully,Neil Eric Wenger
Location Management Sara Burton,Janet Costner,Bruce Lawhead
Music Department Wolfgang Amadeus,Sandy DeCrescent,Stephan R. Goldman,Brian Masterson,Craig Pettigrew,John Rusnak,Tim Simonec,Bill Whelan,Brian Williams
Script and Continuity Department Thomas Johnston
Transportation Department Jerry Smith,Don Tardino,Thomas Vilardo
Additional Crew Nellie Adami,Susan Ahulii,Ralph Bertelle,Richard J. Brewer,Theresa Curtin,Rita Lisa Danao,Susan Ellis,J.J. Geary,Denise Giddens,Dori Greenberg,Ira Halberstadt,Scott Kroopf,Patty MacDonald,Lana Morgan,Jim Procanik,Mandy Safavi,Elizabeth Schulze,Mark S. Temple,Wendy Urlik,Suzanne Welch,Lauren Lloyd
Genres Crime, Drama, Thriller
Companies Hollywood Pictures, Interscope Communications, Polygram Filmed Entertainment
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 5
ImDbRatingVotes 1204
Keywords man tied up,bound and gagged,woman tied up,held hostage,hanging