tek's rating:

Child of Glass, on NBC
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A young boy named Alexander Armsworth, along with his parents and older sister, move into an old Southern mansion his parents had recently bought. (It was cheap, apparently because it's a fixer-upper and has a tragic history.) As soon as they get there, a creepy old woman named Lavinia Culp tells Alexander he has special vision or whatever, and warns him to be prepared for spirits to come to him. Of course, he doesn't believe any of that nonsense, and just gets annoyed when Lavinia's niece, Blossom, continues pestering him about his "second sight." However, he eventually does see a ghost, of a young girl named Inez Dumaine, who had died on the estate over a hundred years earlier. She recites a rhyming riddle (which includes the "child of glass" of the title), and tells Alexander he has to figure out what it means by midnight on Halloween, or she'll never be able to find her eternal rest. Meanwhile, Alexander's parents are planning a cotillion to show off their new home. This means there's lots of work to be done fixing the place up, which takes away from the time Alexander has to try to solve the riddle and help Inez. There's also a perpetually drunken handyman named Timmons, who doesn't do much work, so Mr. Armsworth eventually fires him. But Timmons will later make considerable trouble for the family, particularly Alexander. Of course, Alexander and Blossom work together and eventually do free Inez from her curse.

And I guess that's all I can say about the plot. The movie originally aired in 1978 on "The Wonderful World of Disney," but I couldn't possibly have seen it way back then. I'm pretty sure I saw it on TV at some point, but watching it on DVD in 2012, I didn't really remember much of anything other than Inez the ghost. Anyway, the movie has some flaws. There are things about the plot that don't make much sense. (And I'm not entirely sure the DVD shows the movie exactly as it originally was.) The acting's not great, either, but it's okay, especially if you remember this is basically a kids' TV movie, and one from the 1970s, at that. I think the movie's value lies mainly in nostalgia, but still... the story's not bad, I guess. (Though if a movie like this came out now, I'd probably rate it slightly lower.) But I definitely found some of it amusing (particularly the line "Whatever happened to Women's Lib?") And... well, it is all sort of cute, or whatever. And there's a fair amount of suspense, most of which has nothing to do with ghosts.


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