After her mother's death, a young girl is separated from her abusive father and is sent between her various friends and relatives, always longing to find a place to call home.

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Writers:

(novel), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leonora Nelson
...
Ellen Foster
...
...
Charlotte Nelson Hammond
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Aunt Nadine
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Aunt Betsy
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Abigail Montford
...
Educational Psychologist
Lynne Moody ...
Mrs. Douglas
...
Mr. Douglas
...
Judge
...
Julia Hobbs
...
Roy Hobbs
...
Dora
Allison Jones ...
Starletta Douglas
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Storyline

After her mother's death, a young girl is separated from her abusive father and is sent between her various friends and relatives, always longing to find a place to call home.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some abusive treatment of a child | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

14 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Ellen Foster (#47.2)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Remember (Christmas)
Written by Harry Nilsson
Performed by Harry Nilsson
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User Reviews

 
A great and moving performance
30 August 1999 | by (East Coast US) – See all my reviews

Ellen Foster is the story of a 10 year old girl desperately searching for a true family to call her own. When her mother dies she is left with her father until taken away when the school learns he hits her. She stays with a teacher who volunteers to take her in and who gives her a taste of what a happy family could be like. This ends when her harridan of a grandmother lies in court by telling the judge that she wants custody. Turns out she just wants cheap slave labor, and she goes so far as to tell Ellen that she intends on making her pay for the death of her mother, though Ellen had nothing to do with anything that the father did to her. Soon the grandmother has a stroke and then dies. She is taken in by one of her aunts who is nicer than the grandmother but only on the surface. Ellen's cousin despises her and this situation soon leads to a fight that has Ellen leaving the house on Christmas Day to go to The Foster house. She thinks that the home is a family named Foster, but it is a woman who takes in girls that are unwanted or orphaned. Jena Malone as in her previous film, Bastard Out of Carolina, stars as the abused child, but rather than seem like the pedestrian movie of the week, it is a standout performance. She may still be considered a child actress, but it is very hard not to notice that she's got some great acting chops.


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