Hey! There was no ghost in the disclosures!
The Armsworth family – mom Emily (Barbara Barrie), dad Joe (Biff McGuire), sister Connie Sue (Denise Nickerson) and brother Alexander (Steve Shaw) – move out to the Dumaine plantation house somewhere in the South. The family likes the place, but the son finds that it came equipped with loony neighbor Amory Timmons (Anthony Zerbe) and ghost girl Inez Dumaine (Olivia Barash). Inez needs Alexander’s help….
This is a made-for-television Disney film, and, as such, is not going to be particularly hardcore. There was a time that Disney didn’t shy away from making films that would thrill and terrify their half-pint audience, some of those films stand up quite well to adult viewing as well. This one has virtually no scares and minimal conflict, leaving it more of a fantasy than anything. That doesn’t make the film bad, but it does make it a lot less interesting than a ghost story should be.
As Alexander tries to solve the mystery of the titular child of glass – a doll with a ceramic head – he gets help from classmate Blossom Culp (Katy Kurtzman) – a cute little girl with glasses – and Blossom’s eccentric Aunt Lavinia (Nina Foch). Alexander and Blossom spend a great deal of time trying to find the ghost’s dolly and only manage to do so when Alexander falls down a well when trying to evade the evil firebug Amory. When the ghost girl gets her dolly back, she can rest in piece, but leaves behind the treasure she was killed for: a doll’s head full of diamonds! Wow. The excitement.
The one place in which this film does much better than average is by having the story take place in the realistic life of a young boy. He has work to do and has to deal with family responsibilities while trying to solve his mystery. When his mother holds an antebellum-themed party, she has the fortune of achieving a social coup by getting local gentry Miss Merryweather (Irene Tedrow) to not only attend, but approve. It’s a nice touch that, despite the weirdness of the situation with the kids, life goes on.