83 Hours 'Til Dawn utilizes a plot device originally seen on another fact-based TV movie, The Longest Night (1972). Robert Urich stars as a wealthy business executive whose 20-year-old daughter is abducted by sociopathic Peter Strauss. The kidnapper seals his victim in a small box and buries it deep underground, with an air-tube as her only conduit to the outside world. Strauss threatens to never reveal the girl's whereabouts unless Urich ponies up half a million dollars. The original telecast of 83 Hours 'Til Dawn ran a distant second to a competing network showing of the theatrical feature Three Men and A Baby (87).