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The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  26 January 1977 (France)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 8,730 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 62 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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Title: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

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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) »


Thank heaven for little girls. Thank HELL for the little girl who lives down the lane! 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 date of Rynn Jacobs' (Jodie Foster)'s birthday was 31st October or Halloween. The film was made and released just under two years before the movie Halloween (1978). See more »


When Mario is in the house having come out of the rain, he's helping Rynn get the bodies in the cellar. In the close-up shot, his hair is wet, but his clothes are dry. In the longer shots, they still look dry, too. See more »


Rynn: Thirteen means I have no right, is that it?
Mrs. Hallet: Thirteen means you should be in school.
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 Ida, Be Thy Name: The Frightful Females of Fear (2013) See more »


Piano Concerto No. 1 E-Minor
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Claudio Arrau with London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Eliahu Inbal
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!

31 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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