Savannah Smiles (1982) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The young daughter of a politician runs away due to lack of attention. She hides in the car of two not-so-bright crooks who are slowly converted into parent figures to her. A surprising bond of love and redirection forms among the trio as the police close down on the supposed kidnappers.


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  • The film centers around a six-year-old girl named Savannah (Andersen), whose father (Graves) is running for the United States Senate. Because Savannah's parents pay no attention to her, she decides to run away, leaving a note before she flees. Unfortunately, her father, fearing the note may hurt his chances of winning the election, burns it and admonishes the maid not to tell anyone. When her aunt picks her up and they go to the park, Savannah switches cars and ends up with two escaped (and incompetent) convicts. (Miller, who also wrote the film directly for the screen, and Scott acted out the convicts.) The convicts take her in and soon discover that her father has posted a reward of $100,000 for her safe return. Unexpectedly, they grow close to her, and Savannah finds the love and attention she always wanted. The convicts arrange to return her, with the help of the family priest (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), but she becomes lost in the mountains. The convicts refuse the opportunity to escape in order to search for her and bring her back safely, ultimately surrendering to the priest and the police.

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