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Ellen Foster (1997)

TV Movie  |  PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  14 December 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 333 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

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.



(novel), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Ellen Foster (TV Movie 1997)

Ellen Foster (TV Movie 1997) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonora Nelson
Ellen Foster
Charlotte Nelson Hammond
Aunt Nadine
Aunt Betsy
Abigail Montford
Educational Psychologist
Lynne Moody ...
Mrs. Douglas
Mr. Douglas
Julia Hobbs
Roy Hobbs
Allison Jones ...
Starletta Douglas


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

14 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Remember (Christmas)
Written by Harry Nilsson
Performed by Harry Nilsson
See more »

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User Reviews

A tour de force for Jena Malone
8 July 2000 | by (St. Louis, Missouri) – See all my reviews

Because the passage of years has a way of fogging most adults' memories of their own "childhoods" - especially in the intangible areas of feelings, hopes, hurts, decisions, goals, strategies, etc., they will often conclude that "children" are sort of non-sentient, non-human beings - blank pages in-putting a stream of data for use in their later, more important after metamorphosis existence. I read a review once of "The Cure", a movie starring young actors Joseph Mazzello and Brad Renfro, where a critic in a backhanded compliment called them "two of the best pre-actors around." I suppose that was because, being under twenty-one, they must be "pre-people." Judging by a few of Jena Malone's recent public remarks, not to mention her own real-life experiences, I'm sure she would object to such an attitude. Certainly, her film career belies that attitude. The movie "Ellen Foster" is a good case in point. In it she portrays an eleven year-old girl who, when buffeted by the cruelty and insensitivity of the supposed wise adult world responsible for her care, sets out determinedly to shape a world for herself that does make sense. Ellen belongs to no one but her own unique really human self.

However, it isn't just the character who achieves the point. More important, by her powerful performance, Miss Malone certainly proves she is an actor - and person - of substance. Her ability to read and interpret with such perception and sensitivity the inner being of Ellen as she goes through her trials and sets out on her steadfast quest is precisely on point. This movie is a tour de force for Jena Malone. In the field of acting, she takes a back seat to no one ... of any age.

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