Ellen Foster

Synopsis: After her mother's death, a young girl is separated from her abusive father and is sent between her various friends and relatives, always longing to find a place to call home.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): John Erman
Production: Hallmark Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations.
94 min

High and inside for ball one.

Doesn't look like Leonard

was trying to get...

...but it just didn't want

to break for him.

Toes the rubber,

starts his wind-up

and delivers a fastball

low and outside.

Just missed the corner

for ball two.

Looks like he's

a little bit uncomfortable

with his rotator.

Still having trouble

with that shoulder.

Certainly seems to have trouble

finding the plate

that's for sure.

Come on.

He's already walked

four batters.

It appears

that's going to be all

as Leonard is going to be pulled

by manager Frank...

Sometimes I think

the day he made my daddy

God wasn't thinking straight.

She's coming

home today.

She's coming home?


How come?

They've done all they can

for her for now.

What's romantic fever,

Aunt Nadine?


What Mama has...

romantic fever.

It's not "romantic fever. "

It's rheumatic fever.

What is it?

It's a heart thing.

She's had it

since she was your age.

I thought you knew that.

I thought it

was "romantic. "

What are you doing?


Mama's with her.

We can't go in yet.

Hi, Ellen.

Well, can I go in?


Well, move over.

If I was my mother, I'd stay

right here in the hospital...

folks patting your head

and bringing you fruit baskets.

I would stay right here.

You don't look to me

like you should

be leaving here.

You look like

the dickens.

I'm okay.

The doctor told me

you need

plenty of bed rest

and no exertions.

Now, I want...

I want you to come

home with me.

What for?

The same reason

as always...

to live.

What about Ellen?

My offer is the same

as always, too.

You expect me to go

and live with you

and leave her with him?

Well, she's his daughter.

She's my daughter, too.

Trash begets trash.

It don't matter

who he sires it on.

I'm too tired

for this, Mama.

It's the last time

I make the offer.

Well, that'll

be a relief.

Thanks, honey.


Looks like Charlotte

turned her down again.

You don't have

to come in.

Are you sure?

I'm fine.

We'll call you later.

Okay. Bye.



It's off the wall,

inside corner...


Hey. How you doing?

Not too bad.

Well, you're just in time

for lunch.

What we having?

I had to cook for my own self

the whole time you was gone.

Maybe you can lie down

a bit first.

I'm fine, honey.

Let's go see

what we got, huh?

This place is a mess

since you been gone.

It needs a good cleaning-up.

I can't stand

being in a mess.

It reminds me

of when I was a kid.

I tried to keep it

cleaned up.

I know.

I could see that

when I first came in.

Well, you ought to teach her

how to do it right.

What are you looking at?

Why don't you eat?

I don't have

an appetite.

What was it you turned

your mama down about?

What, honey?

At the hospital.

Aunt Betsy said

you turned your mama

down about something.

You can tell she was

real ticked off.

Well, she wanted me

to come and live

with her.

Well, why don't we...

you and me?

We'd be much better

off over there.


But why not?

She's got that

humongous house

and you wouldn't have to be

cooking or cleaning or whatnot.

Are you okay?

I'm just catching

my breath.

I don't think you should've

turned her down, Mama.

Had to, hon.

Always had to.

How come?

Oh, 'cause...

she won't take you in, too.

I don't like you

knowing that.

Why won't she

take me in, too?

She thinks you're more

your daddy's daughter than mine

and she has an intense dislike

of your daddy.

I think you know that.

She's sure got it wrong

about me and him.

If you wasn't here,

I'd run away.

You know

you're my favorite person

in the whole world.

You know that?

You're my favorite

person, too.

You're smart

and you're strong

and you can get along

no matter what happens.

I absolutely know that.

You remember I told you

that, won't you?




Here. You want

anything else?

No, thank you, hon.

I'll read you

something, okay?

From the Bible?


My favorite part.

You want to hear

my favorite part?

Sure do.

"To everything

there is a season

"and a time to every purpose

under the heaven.

"A time to be born

and a time to die

"a time to plant

"and a time to pluck up

that which is planted

"a time to kill

and a time to heal

"a time to break down

and a time to build up

"a time to weep

and a time to laugh

a time to mourn

and a time to dance. "

I think I'll just have myself

a little nap.

You sure you don't

want nothing else?

No, thank you, hon.

I'm fine.

I'll stay here with you.

Just for a little while,

I'll stay here with you.

I hate it so

when people say they're fine.

You know they're not

and they know it, too.

Why's all the lights out?

How's a man supposed to see

in the pitch dark?

Come on, get up.

Other people got to get in here,


I'll sleep where I want to.

Get up.

You can go sleep in your truck.

I sleep where I want to!

I sleep where I want to!

Mama, get back in the bed.



It's okay. Shh.

Shh, Mama.


The first day

of every month

my daddy's brother Rudolph

would bring some cash money

in an envelope

and I would make sure I would

get it before my daddy did.

I figured out

what I needed and I took it.

You got the lights and the gas

to be paid up, food and extras.

And I'd let him have the rest.




I should have taken

better care of her.

I should have just

put my foot down and said

"Look here, Mama,

you can't be doing

"all this cooking

and cleaning up and what-not.

You have to be in bed getting

rested like Aunt Betsy said. "

I should have put my foot down.

I think that'll be on my mind

for quite a long time.

Mama, I have to go.

Not now, sweetie.

Can't we stop?

Hold it, pumpkin,

all right?

"... Surely goodness and mercy

shall follow me

all the days of my life... "

My baby.

"Earth to earth

"ashes to ashes, dust to dust

"in sure and certain hope

of the resurrection

"to eternal life

through our lord Jesus Christ

"who shall change

our mortal body

"that it may be like

"unto his glorious body


to the mighty work

whereby he is able to subdue

all things to himself. "

Oh, you rotten piece of trash!

You're the one who

should be in that box

you scum!

Why is it that

somebody like my daughter dies

and you don't?!

You took off

and ruined her!

Ruined her life!

Broke her heart!

Scarred her soul!

May God in his wisdom

strike you dead

If somebody else

don't do it for us first!

Seemed to me

she might have got hold

on her natural meanness

for her own daughter's funeral

at least.

I guess she hated my daddy

more than she loved my mama.

It didn't seem proper to me.

I think at a funeral everybody

should love everybody else.

Starletta, wait up.



My mama says

your mama passed on.


That's why

you wasn't at school?


My mama said to say

she's real sorry

and she hopes

she'll come by soon

to say it her own self.


You're going to have to catch up

on your homework.

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Kaye Gibbons

Kaye Gibbons (born May 5, 1960) is an American novelist. Her first novel, Ellen Foster (1987), received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Special Citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation and the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Prize in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Gibbons is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and two of her books, Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman, were selected for Oprah's Book Club in 1998. Gibbons was born in Nash County, North Carolina, and went to Rocky Mount Senior High School. She attended North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying American and English literature. She has three daughters. Gibbons has bipolar disorder and notes that she is extremely creative during her manic phases, in which she believes that everything is instrumented by a "real magic". Ellen Foster was written during one such phase. On November 2, 2008, Gibbons was arrested on prescription drug fraud charges. According to authorities, she was taken into custody while trying to pick up a fraudulent prescription for the painkiller hydrocodone. She was sentenced to a 90-day suspended sentence, 2 years probation, and a $300 fine. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Ellen Foster" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 12 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/ellen_foster_7580>.

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