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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.

Director:

Anthony Simmons

Writers:

Arthur Wise (novel), Anthony Simmons (screenplay)
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1989 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Poison Candy See more »

Filming Locations:

Eastpoint, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Dorothea: You see that brat? She's jealous!
Robert Burger: Of us? Don't be ridiculous.
See more »

Connections

Features Dizzy Pilots (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Eat You Up
Performed by Angie Gold
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A little-known gem.
27 March 2006 | by simnia-1See all my reviews

This little-known British film is excellent in every way. There is an interesting and memorable story, good acting, beautiful Florida beach scenery set to beautiful jazz guitar solos, attractive actresses, and more. All actors and actresses were very well chosen for their parts--young and old, male and female--with respect to looks, personality, and demeanor.

Regarding the two starlets involved, this is Cassie Barasch's only film (to date), but Ellie Raab appeared in several other films after this one, the most popular of which were probably "Eyes of An Angel" (1991) and "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989). John Hurt and Karen Young of course have many films to their credit. Blond Cassie Barasch plays the innocent-looking but precocious bad girl whereas brunette Ellie Raab plays the sweet, naive good girl, who in the movie are friends until their differences strain their friendship to the breaking point, to put it mildly. It is unfortunate that Cassie did not continue in film in the way that the actress Patty McCormack did after Patty played the cunning young murderer in the very successful and groundbreaking film "The Bad Seed" (1956), since there are parallels between the stories and the starlets.

The film script is based on a rather obscure and out-of-print paperback novel called "The Naughty Girls" by Arthur Wise, 1972. Whereas the novel was set in France in the 1970s, the movie was set in the U.S.A. in the 1980s, on the gulf coast of Florida around St. George's Island and Apalachicola. Therefore numerous details such as place names, people names, song titles, dates, and various laws had to be updated from the book to reflect American culture in the 1980s. However, the film follows the book rather closely: a man and his female companion who have just embezzled funds are attempting to lie low until interest in their crime blows over. This couple selects an out-of-the-way rental property that they believe to be safe and private, but through chance meet up with two little girls, Thelma and Elizabeth, who live in the area. Thelma's natural intrusiveness, nosiness, and interest in photography lead her to take photographs of the couple and to uncover part of the couple's sordid past, which then leads to the two girls blackmailing the couple. Conditions then rapidly and continually degrade for everybody even remotely associated with Thelma while all the while Thelma continues to look like an innocent little sweetheart.

The film has some strong Lolitaesque undertones that weren't present in the book, a fact which may have given the film a cult following and made the film ahead of its time. While current public interest and a DVD version are lagging, expect the popularity of this well-made film to rise in upcoming decades as more people discover it.


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