When a maid is accidentally hit by a car and killed, her young orphaned daughter is forced to live with the snooty couple she used to work for. A custody battle soon ensues between an aviator who adores the little girl and the couple's crotchety Uncle Ned. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
The aviators in the plane during the "On the Good Ship Lollipop" song sequence were all volunteers from the football team at the nearby University of Southern California. See more »
When the man in the convertible offers Shirley a ride to the airport, she is wearing her aviator hat. But when she climbs into his car, her hat is gone. See more »
[with practicing piano]
One and two and three and. One and two and three and. One and two and three and. One and two and...
Uncle Ned Smith:
Stop it! One and two and three and. One and two- is that all you know?
[runs to her mother]
Uncle Ned Smith:
Mama! Mama! It's a good thing I am not your mama. That's enough to drive a man crazy. Things better be a little different around here or you're gonna see the last of me.
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Jane Withers, at age four, started as one of the deep South's most popular radio stars on Aunt Sally's Kiddy Club. She was so small she had to be lifted up to reach the microphone. She was the mischief-maker of the Kiddy Club program, called "The Little Pest". Like Mitzi Green, she had an uncanny ability to imitate the voices and facial expressions of actors, actresses and other people, something she learned playing with the mirror. On stage by age five, she became a famous actress throughout the South, finally moving to Hollywood at five-and-a-half. In Hollywood, Jane began by playing in a weekly radio-revue and gave numerous stage performances for beneficial organizations.
"Bright Eyes" was Jane's first credited movie role and led to a long-term contract with Twentieth Century-Fox. She stared in numerous movies of the thirties, and was Shirley Temple's main competition. Jane was one of the great child actresses of all times, very popular with the children of her era, and after watching Shirley's goodie two-shoes act in Bright Eyes playing against Jane's power-house comedy performance, I can see why. Shirley Temple was her usual cute, sugar-coated, man-worshiping self with everyone giggling politely at her jokes except the audience. In contrast, Jane Withers had my daughter and I laughing our heads off until we had stomach-aches. Jane in Bright Eyes was bratty, adorable and hilarously funny. Her brat act has seldom, if ever, been equaled in the annals of film.
It is really a shame, and I hope the studios who own Jane Withers' many films as a child take note, that Bright Eyes is the only Jane Withers performance to survive to contemporary video. What ever happened to her movies "Ginger", Paddy O'Day", "Gentle Julia", "Little Miss Nobody", "Can This be Dixie?" and "Pepper"? In a published chat-room article Jane, who is still very much alive, says that she will eventually finish her book on her child star days. Like the kids of Our Gang, she remembers a fun, privileged childhood and has nothing in the way of sob stories. Let's hope that the studios will stop suppressing her films and release them on video soon, perhaps coinciding with her book.
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