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Little Sweetheart (1989)

A criminal couple, hiding out in a remote property become the unwitting victims of a plot to blackmail them by the most unlikely of conspirators.


Anthony Simmons


Arthur Wise (novel), Anthony Simmons (screenplay)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hurt ... Robert Burger
Karen Young ... Dorothea
Cassie Barasch Cassie Barasch ... Thelma
Ellie Raab Ellie Raab ... Elizabeth
Barbara Bosson ... Mrs. Davies
John McMartin ... Uncle David
James Waterston ... Richard
Guy Boyd ... The Sheriff
Jack Gilpin ... Mr. Harrison
Ann McDonough Ann McDonough ... Mrs. Harrison
Claude Brooks Claude Brooks ... Little Billy
Rose Parrah Rose Parrah ... Marissa
Gary Basaraba ... Barkeeper
Gene Densmore Gene Densmore ... Mr. Manny Drug Store Owner
Jessica Saunders Jessica Saunders ... Woman in Bar


Having embezzled a small fortune and attempting to lay low, Robert Burger (Sir John Hurt) and his mistress Dorothea (Karen Young) choose a remote rental property which in unobtrusive. But they soon make the grave mistake of befriending two nine-year-old girls, Thelma (Cassie Barasch) and Elizabeth (Ellie Raab), who live close by. Behind her seemingly cute and innocent façade, Thelma is a scheming, precocious brat who intrudes upon the couple's life and photographs the pair and ultimately discovers their dark little secret. With Elizabeth's help, they proceed to blackmail the bemused, unsuspecting twosome. But events eventually begin to unravel leading the pseudo-angelic brat to resort to twisted and evil crimes, meaning the lives of those associated with her gradually descend in to Hell. Written by Robert McElwaine

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She's spying on two strangers, she's about to murder her best friend and she's only nine years old!




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

19 October 1989 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Poison Candy See more »

Filming Locations:

Eastpoint, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


The restaurant, from which Robert watches his car, is The Grill, whose sign can be seen just before the shotgun shooting near the end. The Grill was a restaurant in Historic Downtown Apalachicola that existed since 1903, though by 2011, it had changed its name to Apalachicola Seafood Grill, 100 Market Street, Apalachicola, Florida, whereupon it changed its name atop the building from "The Grill" to "Seafood Grill". Most of the downtown scenes were filmed within sight of this restaurant, that is located at the corner of Market Street and Avenue E, especially in the direction of the waterfront, including Old Time Soda Fountain (where the girls buy shakes), Lanier Pharmacy (by which the girls walk), Marie's Laundryland (where Billy break-dances), Chevron (past which Robert flees), Seahorse Gift Jewelry Florist (across from where Little Billy climbs a fence), Dallas Furniture (where Robert is shot), a used car lot (where a trash truck stops), a phone booth (where a Police Officer reports in), and the area around the "Selz Royal Blue" brick building near the waterfront (by which the pursuing officers run). See more »


Uncle David: Of course, speaking for myself, I don't look forward to birthdays anymore. But, when you're nine years old and as pretty as Thelma, well...
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Features Dizzy Pilots (1943) See more »


Take My Body (And I Will Take Your Love)
Performed by Tracy Ackerman
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User Reviews

Poison Candy
16 June 2014 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Little Sweetheart also known as Poison Candy is the first feature film made for cinema release by the BBC. Its a little seen film and was released in the cinemas in America some years after it was made.

John Hurt and Karen Young are a couple who have embezzled money and hiding out in a coastal resort. They cross paths with two nine year-old girls who themselves have just met. We have already been introduced to Thelma (Cassie Barasch) who is blackmailing her older brother and is addicted to violence on television.

The other girl is Elizabeth (Ellie Raab) who has moved into the area. The girls burgle the couple's house and steal a gun. Later Elizabeth goes missing and the police become involved putting the errant couple in danger.

Despite the location filming this is a low budget morality tale and an insight on a girl who is sweet but beneath the surface is malevolent and might be willing to kill and frame others. John Hurt and Karen Young do well in this offbeat and little known film and the child actors carry of their roles with aplomb. Its a minor character study, lacking in strong direction with a minimalist score.

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