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Somewhere in the late 70s to early 80s. I remember a movie that I enjoyed (though apparently not enough to remember) that featured a girl somewhere in the age range of 10-14. She is very bright and raised in a good home, but has a penchant for kleptomania. The girl is also terrified of fire.

She is helped by a piano teacher who is initially abusive. The strongest memory is placing a pencil under the girl's wrists while she practiced.

The only other thing I remember is that the 'bad guy' was about as imposing and scary as a teddy bear.

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Was Shirley Maclaine the piano teacher? –  Nobby Feb 10 '12 at 21:41
    
I don't believe so. I don't remember any well known names in the film. Probably why it's so hard to track down. –  Andrei Freeman Feb 11 '12 at 6:01
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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Thanks to a friend on IM who suggested I look under synonyms like "Thief", "Steal" and "Flickering lights" instead of Fire. The latter yielded the answer.

This film is called Anna to the Infinite Power. Wiki, IMDB, Amazon

Anna Hart was always an odd child, a genius, a shoplifter, desperately afraid of flickering lights, with strange prophetic dreams. Simultaneously, several strange things begin to happen. A strange, mysterious neighbor, by the name of MacKayla moves in next door to the Harts. And, most frightening of all, Anna sees her exact double on the television one night. As her investigation of the other Anna, Anna Smithson, progresses, she begins to learn the truth. The truth about a woman named Anna Zimmerman that has been dead for twenty years, and most importantly, the truth about herself.

The film's evil scientist was played by Jack Gilford which clearly explains the reason that the villain was not very imposing to my teenage mind when viewing. An actress named Donna Mitchell played the Piano Teacher to respond to the question in the comments.

Apparently I managed to forget the entire "Clone" part of the story. Upon reading the summary, the memories came back a bit stronger.

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