After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years ... See full summary »
Shirley Temple's father, a rebel officer, sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family and is arrested. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape. Everyone is captured and the ... See full summary »
Dimples Appleby lives with the pick-pocket grandfather in 19th century New York City. She entertains the crowds while he works his racket. A rich lady makes it possible for the girl to go legit. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is performed.
Shirley lives with a lighthouse keeper who rescued her when her parents drowned. A truant officer decides she should go to boarding school, but she's rescued by relatives. Buddy Ebsen dances "At The Codfish Ball" with Shirley.
Ching-Ching gets lost in Shanghai and is befriended by American playboy Tommy Randall. She falls asleep in his car which winds up on a ship headed for America. Susan Parker, also on the ... See full summary »
Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »
Horse trainer Shawn O'Hara and his lovely niece, Margaret, come to America to escape the memory of an accident involving Margaret's brother, Danny. Working with thoroughbreds in Kentucky, ... See full summary »
Wealthy Edward Morgan becomes charmed with a curly-haired orphan and her pretty older sister Mary and arranges to adopt both under the alias of "Mr. Jones." As he spends more time with them, he soon finds himself falling in love with Mary.
Priscilla Williams is a young girl traveling with her mother, Joyce, to join her paternal grandfather, a British army colonel, at the post he commands in northern India. Upon arrival, they ... See full summary »
C. Aubrey Smith
After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years pass and Elizabeth returns to her home town with her husband and young daughter. The little girl charms her crusty grandfather and tries to patch things up between him and her mother. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Performing their "staircase dance" together in this film made Bill Robinson and Shirley Temple the first interracial dancing couple in American movie history. This scene was cut when the film played in the southern United States. See more »
When Swazey and Hull come to see Jack, they stop and speak to Lloyd. During the conversation, Lloyd's hat ribbons alternate between hanging down her back and hanging over her shoulder. See more »
Elizabeth Lloyd Sherman:
Oh the days are gone when beauty bright my heart's chain wove, / When my dream of life from morn 'till night was love still love. / New hope may bloom and days may come of milder, calmer beam, / But there's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young dream. / Oh there's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young dream.
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Another Shirley Classic -- Enjoyable but Overrated.
With all of her usual show-stealing spark, Shirley Temple delivers another fun family classic as Lloyd Sherman in "The Little Colonel." Proving yet again that there's no problem she can't solve, Shirley reconciles an old grudge between her young mother (played by Evelyn Venable) and her crusty southern grandfather (played by Lionel Barrymore), who disowned his daughter for marrying a Yankee. Shirley's classic tap dance up the staircase with Bojangles Robinson will remind all of her fans of what a true dancing prodigy she really was. And a few scenes later, her song "Love's Young Dream" will show you why her singing is not as well remembered as her dancing. Don't get me wrong: Shirley shines in fast, snappy songs, but her voice was not made for slow numbers like this one.
"The Little Colonel" is a nice family film, but except for the iconic staircase dance, there is little to distinguish it from most of Shirley's childhood flicks. The claim that this film smashed through racial barriers by placing Shirley Temple opposite African-American screen legends Bojangles Robinson and Hattie McDaniel is almost laughable. Rather, Robinson and McDaniel play complete racial stereotypes: Robinson is the clichéd childish, comical servant ("The stereotyped picture of gay song-singing cotton pickers," to quote Maya Angelou). Watch him stand idly by while Barrymore fusses and fumes at him, because he knows "the old colonel don't mean no harm." Meanwhile McDaniel is a Mammy figure, loyal, caring, and always glad to serve the white folks (McDaniel later won an Oscar for playing the same Mammy figure in "Gone With the Wind"). In her famous novel, "The Bluest Eye," Toni Morrison writes, "I hated Shirley. Not because she was cute, but because she danced with Bojangles, who was my friend, my uncle, my daddy, and who ought to have been soft-shoeing it and chuckling with me. Instead he was enjoying, sharing, giving a lovely dance thing with one of those little white girls whose socks never slid down under their heels."
But one cannot really expect better from a film made in 1935, when America was, unfortunately, still in the Dark Ages as far as African-Americans and their rights were concerned. Such clichéd roles were the only acting jobs available for African-Americans at the time, and so Robinson's and McDaniel's talents are largely untapped as their characters completely lack the depth given to white actors. For example, Lionel Barrymore's Colonel Lloyd has both positive and negative characteristics: He is a temperamental hothead who remains bitter over the Civil War, but he is also a southern gentleman who immediately brings his new neighbors a bouquet of flowers to welcome them.
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