Digging to China (1997)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  11 September 1998 (USA)
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Reviews: 31 user | 21 critic

10-year-old Harriet dreams of leaving her home, where she doesn't feel she's needed by her mother and sister Gwen. When her mother dies in a car accident, she really starts to make plans ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Ricky Schroth
Gwen Frankovitz
Leah Schroth
Mrs. Frankovitz
Amanda Minikus ...
Nicole Burdette ...
Miss Mosher
Eric (as Robert Putney)
Annie Jaynes ...
Young Harriet
Tow Truck Driver #1
Tow Truck Driver #2
J.C. Quinn ...
Flirting Man (as Keith Harris)
Nicole Namer ...
Girl in Classroom


10-year-old Harriet dreams of leaving her home, where she doesn't feel she's needed by her mother and sister Gwen. When her mother dies in a car accident, she really starts to make plans for leaving and she finally does so together with her childlike (mentally ill) friend Ricky. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

friend | sister | alcoholic | ufo | grief | See All (177) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some emotional moments | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Egy alagút Kínába  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$19,162 (USA) (11 September 1998)


$33,556 (USA) (18 September 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Evan Rachel Wood's movie debut. See more »


Harriet's legs change position from shot to shot when she's coloring on the floor. See more »


[first lines]
Harriet: My mother lived in one world. I was always looking for another.
Harriet: Once I tried to squeeze down a rabbit hole.
[fire department arriving]
Harriet: Then I tried digging all the way to China.
[sparks fly]
Harriet: That's when I learned a mysterious electric force protected the center of the Earth. Then I tried to make the carpet from the front hall fly me to Persia.
Harriet: I always wish for the same two things, which are really only one thing. I want something magical to happen to me. And I wanted my mother to ...
See more »


Referenced in Little Secrets (2001) See more »


Iko Iko
Written by Rosa Lee Hawkins (as Rosa Lee Hawkings), Barbara Ann Hawkins (as Barbara Anne Hawkins), Joan Marie Johnson, Joe Jones, Maralyn Jones, Sharon Jones, Jessie Thomas, based on a song by James Crawford
Performed by The Dixie Cups
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corp.
By Arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Earnest and sometimes moving
12 April 1999 | by (NH) – See all my reviews

Timothy Hutton and the cast of "Digging to China" deserve an "A" for effort and for having their hearts in the right place. Despite some awkward writing and a not entirely successful performance by Kevin Bacon, this film mostly succeeds by making you feel the deep need the characters have to connect with one another. Some scenes feel contrived, but the performances overcome this for the most part. Bacon is OK once you get used to him, but his performance feels a bit studied and overly mannered -- it doesn't flow as naturally as Leonardo DiCaprio's similar performance in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?"

This movie shares some plotting and themes with "Lawn Dogs" -- in both films an older man befriends a lonely and odd young girl; people misunderstand and violence results -- which to me was a better movie. But "Digging to China" certainly deserves more attention than its gotten. The performance of Evan Rachel Wood as Harriet is one of the most amazing performances by a young actor I've seen in ages.

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