Jane, a young Toronto girl, tries to reunite her estranged parents during the 1930's, sick of her strict private school and abusive, nasty grandmother.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mairon Bennett ...
Jane Stuart
...
Andrew Stuart
Patricia Phillips ...
Robin Stuart
...
Mrs.Kennedy
...
Jody Turner
...
Hepzibah
Vivian Reis ...
Aunt Irene
Joyce Campion ...
Violet Titus
Florence Paterson ...
Justina Titus
Sharry Flett ...
Lillian Morrow
Glori Gage ...
Evelyn Morrow
Dora Dainton ...
Aggie
Robert Benson ...
William Kennedy
London Juno ...
Phyllis Kennedy (as Juno Mills Cockell)
...
Gertrude Kennedy
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Storyline

In 1935 Toronto, Jane Stuart's mother has taken ill, and the two of them have temporarily moved in with her rich, snobbish grandmother, where Jane is verbally abused and her mother bullied. Jane is forced into a private academy, in which the other girls tell her that her father, whom Jane believes to be dead, is actually alive. Soon after, Andrew Stuart sends word that he would like to meet his long-lost daughter, so Jane is sent by train to Bright River to stay with him, where she encounters an old mystery that she must help her father overcome, new friends, and the chance to bring her father and mother back together again. Written by Stacy Saigeon

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Drama | Family

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Release Date:

27 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jane of Lantern Hill  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
good acting, disappointing adaptation
10 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was one of my favorite books as a child. I even had the book on tape, read by the same wonderful young actress that portrayed Jane in the film. I spent numerous blissful hours drawing and listening to the tapes, imagining that I was part of Jane's marvelous world. Then the movie came along and as a nine year old, I was thoroughly traumatized as to what they had done to my beloved book.

Years later, an interest in Sam Waterston's acting drew me back, and admittedly out of sheer bias toward his portrayal of Andrew, which may be the only good thing about the movie, I did not hate it as much. But that does not make it a good adaptation. "Jane of Lantern Hill" was never meant to be a ghost story. There was no strange, creepy, gray-haired old woman (witch?) trying to encourage Jane to draw her parents back together. There was no ghost haunting her, nor no sinister nightmares. Beyond that, the first half hour of the film is complete rubbish that only bears a passing resemblance to the book.

I'm not a prude when it comes to adaptations. I can enjoy them even with major changes made so long as the spirit remains true to the author's intention, and the characters are not severely altered in any way. I'm afraid this one doesn't quite hit the mark. I found it enjoyable, but in comparing it to the book, came up short every time. The best thing about the production are the performances by the leading girls and the depiction of a charming, eccentric father. That almost makes it worth it.


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