Screenplay by Connie Kaiserman and Nan Knighton (credited as Nan Mason)
Directed by Connie Kaiserman
Produced by Black Swan Productions
in association with Merchant Ivory Productions
Nan co-wrote the screenplay for My Little Girl, a film that came out in 1987. Though it
has not received a lot of attention, the movie has a touching story and an impressive cast.
Synopsis (from the film case)
Franny Bettinger (Mary Stuart Masterson), an affluent 16-year-old from Philadelphia,
volunteers in a city shelter for children who are wards of the state. Full of idealism and the
commitment to make a difference in the lives of these disadvantaged girls, Franny is met with
suspicion, coldness and even hostility. Decidedly in foreign social territory, she decides to
persist despite the objections of her parents, the home's director (James Earl Jones) and the
girls themselves. Only Franny's grandmother (Geraldine Page) offers support and guidance during
Franny's struggle for independence.
When Franny feels she is finally making progress, she organizes a talent show as a vehicle to
break through the girls' hardened exteriors. Just as preparations are enthusiastically
underway, one of the girls is unexpectedly transferred to a brutal rural center. Taking matters
into her own hands, Franny embarks on a rescue mission which leaves her stranded, miles from
anywhere. Her impetuous actions get her fired, but not before she oversees talent night, which
the girls eagerly anticipate.
Talent night is a great success, inspiring confidence in the girls and satisfaction in
Franny. As she leaves the center, Franny realizes her life has been changed forever by her
contact with a new and different world.
Mary Stuart Masterson plays Franny Bettinger. She has
also played the memorable roles of Watts in Some Kind Of Wonderful, Idgie Threadgoode in
Fried Green Tomatoes and Joon in Benny & Joon. She made her Broadway debut in
2003 as Luisa in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Nine.
James Earl Jones plays Ike Bailey, the director of the
children's home. He has appeared in many films and television shows over his career, and is
well known for his distinctive voice - heard as Darth Vader in Star Wars and Mufasa in
The Lion King. He has also appeared frequently on stage, winning Tony Awards for The
Great White Hope and August Wilson's Fences.
Geraldine Page plays Molly, Franny's grandmother, and
My Little Girl was her final film. Called The First Lady of the American Theater, she
played numerous roles on and off-Broadway, including Alma Winemiller in an acclaimed production
of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke both Off-Broadway and on film. After becoming
the first woman to receive 7 Oscar nominations without winning, her eighth nomination led to a
win, for The Trip To Bountiful.
Anne Meara plays Mrs. Shopper, a social worker at the
children's home. She often appeared with her husband, Jerry Stiller, as "Stiller & Meara" on
The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She is also known as Peggy Moody
on "All My Children."
Traci Lind (credited as Traci Lin) plays Alice, and
co-wrote the song that her character sings in the movie. Her other film credits include My
Boyfriend's Back and The End of Violence.
Peter Gallagher plays Kai, Alice's boyfriend. He has
performed on Broadway in Guys & Dolls and Long Day's Journey Into Night, and
appeared in films such as American Beauty and on the television show "The O.C."
Pamela Payton-Wright plays Delly, Franny's mother. She
has been seen on television as Agatha 'Addie' Cramer on "One Life To Live" and as Hazel Parker
on "Another World." She has also appeared on stage, winning a Drama Desk award for Mourning
Peter Michael Goetz plays Norman, Franny's father. He
has also appeared in Father of the Bride and its sequel, Glory and The Karen
Jennifer Lopez - yes, the Jennifer Lopez, who has
become famous as a singer, actress and designer - made her film debut in My Little Girl
in the small part of Myra. Hit songs from her career include "If You Had My Love," "Love Don't
Cost A Thing" and "Jenny From the Block," and her film credits include Selena, The Cell
and The Wedding Planner.
Allen Fitzpatrick plays a Reporter and a Policeman, also
small roles. Among his other credits, he originated the role of Farleigh in The Scarlet
Pimpernel on Broadway.
The film is rated R (it contains strong language) and runs 118 minutes. It is available for
Purchase at Amazon
and additional details are available at IMDb.com.
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