The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  26 January 1977 (France)
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Reviews: 95 user | 65 critic

13-year-old Rynn Jacobs lives alone in a high-class Quebec small town, but unknown to the neighbors, she is leading a secret and dangerous life.


(as Nicholas Gessner)


(novel), (screenplay)
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Mort Shuman ...
Dorothy Davis ...
Town Hall Clerk
Clesson Goodhue ...
Bank Manager
Hubert Noël ...
Bank Clerk (as Hubert Noel)
Jacques Famery ...
Bank Clerk
Mary Morter ...
Julie Wildman ...


Rynn Jacobs is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives in a secluded house that she and her father have rented in a quiet seaside community. But whenever anybody from the town tries to satisfy their curiosity, Rynn's father is never around, and it seems as if the girl is all alone. Rynn's resourcefulness is put to the test as several people try to find out what she might be hiding, including the snobby landlady and her sleazy son. Written by acidxian

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | father | alone | house | secret | See All (67) »


She was only a little girl. She lived in a great big house... all alone. Where is her mother? Where is her father? Where are all the people who went to visit her? What is her unspeakable secret? Everyone who knows is dead. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 January 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Das Mädchen am Ende der Straße  »

Box Office


CAD 1,100,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title of the book of poetry written by Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster)'s father Lester Jacobs was called "Poems". See more »


Throughout the movie, the calendar in Rynn's kitchen disappears and reappears a few times. See more »


Mario: Rynn, don't bodies...
Rynn: Decompose? Well, you can put stuff on them.
Mario: How do you know how do to that stuff.
Rynn: I looked it up in the library.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rynn sits staring at Frank Hallet through the entire ending credits as the fire burns behind her. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Catalina Caper (1990) See more »


The Little Girl's Love
composed by Christian Gaubert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Intriguing, macabre and brilliantly acted - a must see film!
13 December 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Wow, where has this little flick been? The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane is an intriguing mystery, an intense character portrait and a dark, brooding thriller all rolled into one rather odd little package - and on a personal note, I liked it a lot! The film has gained some notoriety (although not as much as it would have if it was more seen) for the scene involving a thirteen year old Jodie Foster undressing - but that never offsets the point of the film, and besides that; it's hardly like the scene has just been thrown in to satisfy the perverts in the audience. Furthermore, the most shocking scene in the film involves a hamster with no naked teenage girl present! Anyway, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is about a young girl, living down a quiet lane with her poet father. Only nobody has ever this man, and it isn't long before nosey neighbours - such as the perverted Frank Hallet and his enquiring, power mad mother comes sniffing round, eager to upset her life. She's not quick to let them know the truth, however, and along with her boyfriend; a crippled young magician from the neighbourhood, she is forced to take steps to preserve her independence.

The most obvious theme running through the film stems from loneliness, and how being brought up on your own will ultimately leave you a different person to if things such as schools are allowed to take charge. This is interesting; as it preaches the idea of social conditioning makes up the person more than most like to admit. The film is often touted as being a horror, but this is incorrect. While the film does feature several macabre instances, and a foreboding and mysterious atmosphere that is present throughout the run time; there's very little in the way of actual horror. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is much more of a drama-come-mystery than a horror film. The film is probably most notable for it's lead performance. Jodie Foster had already impressed in 1976 with her role in Martin Scorsese's hit film, Taxi Driver - but here she is far better. Despite her young age, Foster commands the screen and despite being a child, her maturity and acting talent shine through to make this a more complete performance than most actresses manage in a lifetime.

On the whole, this film was once hard to come by; but with the new DVD currently doing the rounds, the film should be seen by everyone. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane fits snugly alongside the rest of the classics of the seventies, and the fact that it has only just resurfaced is one of cinema's biggest injustices. Highly recommended viewing!

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