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The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

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.


Nicolas Gessner (as Nicholas Gessner)


Laird Koenig (novel), Laird Koenig (screenplay)

On Disc

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Jodie Foster ... Rynn Jacobs
Martin Sheen ... Frank Hallet
Alexis Smith ... Mrs. Cora Hallet
Mort Shuman Mort Shuman ... Officer Ron Miglioriti
Scott Jacoby ... Mario Podesta
Dorothy Davis ... Town Hall Clerk
Clesson Goodhue Clesson Goodhue ... Bank Manager
Hubert Noël Hubert Noël ... Bank Clerk (as Hubert Noel)
Jacques Famery Jacques Famery ... Bank Clerk
Mary Morter ... Teller
Julie Wildman Julie Wildman ... Teller


In a little seaside town, the thirteen year-old Rynn Jacobs is celebrating her birthday alone on a Halloween night since her father is not at home. They have arrived from England recently and leased the house for three years from Mrs. Cora Hallet. Out of the blue, Mrs. Hallet's pervert son Frank Hallet visits Rynn and sexually harasses her. Then his mother visits also the house and asks for Rynn's father. The girl tells that he traveled to New York. Mrs. Hallet tells that she needs her jelly glasses that are stored in the cellar and Rynn asks the impolite woman to go. Later she returns and opens the cellar door despite Rynn's refusal. However, she has an accident with the support of the cellar door that hits her head and she dies. Rynn tries to get rid of Mrs. Hallet's car to hide the evidence that she had visited her, but she has trouble to start the car and the aspirant magician Mario Podesta helps her. Rynn immediately trust Mario and discloses her secret to him. What is Rynn's ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Thank heaven for little girls. Thank HELL for the little girl who lives down the lane! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

MGM | Official Facebook


Switzerland | France | Canada



Release Date:

26 January 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Mädchen am Ende der Straße See more »

Filming Locations:

Kennebunkport, Maine, USA See more »


Box Office


CAD 1,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Some movie posters for the film featured a long text preamble that read: "She was only a little girl. She lived in a great big house... all alone. Where is her mother? Where is her father? Where are all the people who went to visit her? What is her unspeakable secret? Everyone who knows is dead". 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: Maybe you don't understand about poets: Edgar Allen Poe was a drug addict, Dylan Thomas drank himself to death, Sylvia Plath took her own life.
Miglioriti: Rynn, we're talking about your father.
Rynn: Yeah well, sometimes my father goes into his room and locks the door, keeps something in a desk drawer, I don't know what it is. I know when he locks that door, he doesn't want me to see the way he becomes, you know?
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Crazy Credits

Rynn sits staring at Frank Hallet through the entire ending credits as the fire burns behind her. See more »

Alternate Versions

The infamous nude scene with Jodie Foster's body double (her older sister, Connie) and one dropping of the F-word from Scott Jacoby has been reinstated for the MGM DVD release. The producers didn't notice that Connie Foster was wearing a gold bracelet on her left arm, which subsequently disappears when Jodie Foster returns for her close-up under the covers. See more »


Referenced in Science Fiction Film Awards (1978) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Interesting Little Thriller.
28 December 2006 | by drownnnsodaSee all my reviews

"The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane" focuses on Rynn Jacobs (played by the brilliant Jodie Foster), a thirteen year old girl who lives in an old house a little outside of a small seaside town. The neighbors and townspeople are nosy, and always end up checking in on Rynn to find her all by herself, a very independent little girl. But where is her father? That is the question that everyone who visits the home has. Rynn has temporary excuses to her father's whereabouts, but soon Rynn has to resort to extremes - even murder - to hide a secret from the nosy people and the landlord who are invading her home and wanting to know too much information.

More of a drama thriller than a horror movie (as the film may seem), "The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane" is an interesting psychological thriller that is held very well with Jodie Foster's excellent performance (as always). She shows off her acting abilities in everything I've seen her in, and even in this, which is her earlier work, she still shows a high amount of potential. It's no wonder she's become such a celebrated Hollywood actress, she's good at what she does. Martin Sheen, also playing a nosy neighbor in this film, is also very good in his role. I liked the idea of this film - an isolated and lonely little girl who seems to be possibly living alone, but hiding a secret as to why her father has mysteriously disappeared. But where is her father, and why isn't he there? The premise is intriguing so I thoroughly enjoyed the film. And the idea of such a young child resorting to murder is plain disturbing, even though it has been done a number of times, it's done very well here.

But the real strong point of this film is what happens in the audience's point of view. We, just like the landlord and her son, and all of the other nosy people that are invading her home, don't know the secret behind why Rynn's father is gone either. The audience is put in the position of these characters, and it's a really fun experience to try and figure it out for ourselves.

Overall, "The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane" is a sometimes eerie and interesting thriller. It keeps the audience guessing along with it but holds onto our interest the entire time and doesn't fail with the storyline. Very well executed and very well acted, with a strong atmosphere to go along with it. Don't expect a gory slasher film though, because this is nothing even close to that. 7/10.

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