|Child of Glass|
|Based on||The Ghost Belonged to Me|
by Richard Peck
|Written by||Jim Lawrence|
|Directed by||John Erman|
|Music by||George Duning|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Ron Miller|
|Editor(s)||Lloyd L. Richardson|
|Running time||93 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Walt Disney Productions|
Child of Glass is a 1978 American made-for-television family-fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based upon the novel The Ghost Belonged to Me by Richard Peck. Its plot follows a young boy who moves into a former plantation in Louisiana, and encounters the ghost of a young girl who was murdered on the property.
It originally aired on NBC as part of The Wonderful World of Disney on May 14, 1978. The film was also re-aired sporadically during the early to mid-1980s, often on weekends during the afternoon. The filming locations were in Danville, Kentucky and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Alexander Armsworth and his family move into an antebellum Louisiana plantation. Alexander's mother and sister fall in love with the mansion and become set on restoring it to its former glory, but Alexander is both frustrated at the amount of chores he is expected to do and unsettled by mysterious, spooky lights he sees around the property. He also meets his new neighbor, Blossom Culp, a superstitious girl raised by her spiritualist grandmother. In spite of Blossom's strange and sometimes annoying ways, she becomes a loyal friend.
One night Alexander sees the mysterious lights once more and follows them into the old barn, where he finds the ghost of a young Creole girl, Inez Dumaine, and her dog. Inez's wicked uncle was Jacques Dumaine, the former owner of the plantation and a notorious pirate. In life, Inez refused to reveal the location of her family's treasure to her uncle, who murdered her and her dog by throwing them down the well in the barn. In revenge, he also cursed her ghost to remain on the property. Inez must be reunited with the "child of glass" in order to be free of the curse and begs Alexander to help her find it. If the "child of glass" is not found before All Saints' Eve (Halloween), Inez will be trapped forever, unable to reunite with the spirits of her parents and forced to reenact her murder every night.
Inez tells Alexander a riddle, which she can only say once, and which Alexander must solve. the riddle states:
Sleeping lies the murdered lass. Vainly cries the child of glass. when the two are made as one, the spirit's journey will be done.
Alexander realizes that Inez is the murdered lass in the first line. He enlists Blossom and her grandmother to find the "child of glass." In a vision using Blossom's crystal ball, Alexander sees Inez alive with her mother, who makes her promise to look after her china doll Babette. He also witnesses Jacques Dumaine murder Inez. Waking from the vision, Alexander realizes that the doll Babette must be the "child of glass."
Meanwhile, Alexander's mother fires a disgruntled handyman, Amory Timmons, who swears revenge on the family and attempts to burn down the barn. Alexander witnesses him, and Amory attempts to murder him to silence him. Alexander tries to escape into the old well house, but as Amory attempts to follow him, Alexander trips and falls into the old well, where he is knocked unconscious. Alexander's family, roused by the barn fire search for him. In the morning, as the police search for Alexander and Amory, Inez's dog leads Blossom to the well house, where she sees Alexander on a ledge, still unconscious. Blossom is the only one light enough to be lowered down to tie a rope to Alexander, and while dangling on the rope in the well, she finds Babette. Alexander is rescued from the well by Blossom and his parents, but Amory escapes.
Alexander and Blossom located Inez's family tomb and lay the doll on her grave, freeing her from the curse. However, Amory tracks Alexander and Blossom to the tomb and is on the verge of killing them both when Inez manifests as a terrifying, wailing ghost that scares him into fleeing. Inez thanks Alexander and Blossom for their help before going to her final rest. Before Inez departs forever, the doll rises from the grave and smashes on the floor, revealing that its head is full of diamonds--the long-lost Dumaine treasure that Inez was sworn to protect. Inez has given Alexander the treasure to help his family restore her home.
- Barbara Barrie as Emily Armsworth
- Biff McGuire as Joe Armsworth
- Anthony Zerbe as Amory Timmons
- Nina Foch as Aunt Lavinia Culp
- Katy Kurtzman as Blossom Culp
- Steve Shaw as Alexander Armsworth
- Olivia Barash as Inez Dumaine
- Denise Nickerson as Connie Sue Armsworth
- Jack Rader as Sheriff Muncey
- Irene Tedrow as Miss Merryweather
- Lilyan Chauvin as Madame Dumaine
- David Hurst as Jacques Dumaine
- Sue Ann Gilfillan as Ludee Calhoun
The film was shot on location in Danville, Kentucky in August 1977. For the scene in which the exterior barn burns, the production used pyrotechnics to burn a real barn that was purchased from a local man, dismantled, and relocated to a different site where it was reassembled.
The graveyard scenes were filmed in Bellevue Cemetery in Dansville, but there was no appropriate tomb for the final scene, therefore one was built in the cemetery. The set remained a popular tourist attraction for years afterwards.
Disney released a DVD-on-Demand version of this film as part of their Disney Generations Collection line of DVDs on December 5, 2011.
- "'Child of Glass' features barn burning". The Newark Advocate. Newark, New Jersey. May 11, 1978. p. 31 – via Newspapers.com.
- "TV movie filmed in Kentucky due for airing on NBC May 6". The Franklin Favorite. Franklin, Kentucky. April 20, 1978. p. B-8 – via Newspapers.com.