The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

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The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is a 1976 Canadian-French[1] film directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen. It was written by Laird Koenig, based on Koenig's 1974 novel of the same title; Koenig also wrote a stage play based on his book. The plot focuses on thirteen-year-old Rynn Jacobs (Foster), a mysterious child whose dark secrets concerning her absent poet father are prodded by various nosy villagers in a New England town. The film, though predominantly a dramatic thriller, also blends elements of horror, mystery, and romance.

Contents

Plot

During a Halloween evening in a New England seaside town, Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster) is celebrating her thirteenth birthday alone in her father's house; her father is a poet, and they have recently moved from England. Frank Hallet (Martin Sheen), the landlady's adult son, drops by; he is a pedophile with an unwholesome interest in Rynn, and although he leaves quickly that night when his stepchildren come to the door trick-or-treating, the next day he is waiting in his car to offer her a ride. She studiously ignores him.

Later, Cora Hallet (Alexis Smith), the landlady, arrives at the house. She snoops about, attempting to find out where Rynn's father is, and asks Rynn whether Frank has been bothering her. Rynn claims her father is in New York, and taunts the landlady about her son. Rynn's snappy answers and self-confidence unsettle Mrs. Hallet. The situation gets tenser when Mrs. Hallet wants to get her jelly glasses from the cellar. Rynn steadfastly refuses to let her in the cellar, despite Mrs. Hallet's threatening her with truancy; finally, the frustrated Mrs. Hallet leaves.

In town, Rynn again runs into Frank, but he is deterred by the appearance of Officer Miglioriti (Mort Shuman) in a police cruiser. Officer Miglioriti drives Rynn home, and the two strike up a kind of friendship. Miglioriti asks where Rynn's father is, and she tells him that he is working and cannot be disturbed.

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