Mar 272012

Director: Nicolas Gessner

Rating: PG

Running Time: 91 Minutes

Release Date:November 26, 1976

GenreMystery Suspense

CastRynn(Jodie Foster), Frank Hallet(Martin Sheen), Mrs. Hallet(Alexis Smith), Miglioriti(Mort Shuman), Mario(Scott Jacoby)

Synopsis: Since the death of her father, thirteen year-old Rynn (Jodie Foster) lives alone in a large house in a small New England town. With the help of another kid, Mario, she must convince the adults of town that her father is still around or they will take her away. Frank (Martin Sheen), the landlord’s creepy adult son, has also taken an unwholesome interest in her.

Analysis: I saw this film once when I was very young and it has been in my mind ever since. It is a darker and more realistic version of Pippi Longstocking, where the girl lives by herself and doesn’t need any help from the outside world, but the outside world keep intruding. Instead of tricking the adults like Pippi, Rynn gets backed into a corner and people end up dying by accident and this leads to more and more lies and the hiding of bodies.


  • Funny chain of deaths that start with her father trying to spare her from his death.
  • Martin Sheen makes a very convincing and scary pedophile.
  • Mario has so many brothers that his parents forgot which ones had polio shots and that is why Mario has a limp.


  • The musical score is very dated from the 1970s with bass, symbols, keyboard and flute.
  • The dialogue is choppy at times, but counteracted by Fosters good acting.
  • Too much tea drinking!

Conclusion: I’m pretty sure that I was about 5 years old when I first saw this film. Around the same time, I had also seen a similar movie called A Girl Named Sooner and combined them in my head causing some strange recollections. The Little Girl That Lives Down the Lane is a pretty obscure and rare film, so I am very fortunate to have caught this on TV. Now that I have seen it again, I realize that it is a pretty good film and not as creepy as I thought.


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