Bright Eyes (1934)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  28 December 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,419 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 12 critic

An orphaned girl is taken in by a snobbish family at the insistence of their rich, crotchety uncle, even as her devoted aviator godfather fights for custody.



(screen play) (as William Conselman) , (story), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
James Dunn ...
Adele Martin
Mary Blake
Charles Sellon ...
Uncle Ned Smith
Walter Johnson ...
Joy Smythe
Theodore von Eltz ...
J. Wellington Smythe (as Theodor von Eltz)
Dorothy Christy ...
Anita Smythe
Brandon Hurst ...
Judge Thompson


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 December 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shirley aviatrice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shirley Temple was presented with the first Academy Award ever given to a child for her role as Shirley Blake. She was then the youngest person to ever be listed in Who's Who, and was also the youngest person to ever be spotlighted on the cover of TIME Magazine. See more »


When Joy offers to give Shirley's doll an operation, Shirley picks her up and calls her doll Mary Lou. This is the name Shirley gave to the doll her mother gave her for Christmas, but the doll she has now is the one the aviators gave her, named Loopy. You can tell because this doll is larger and is wearing an aviator hat. See more »


Uncle Ned Smith: Now listen to me, you two. I want you to understand just one thing. If you ever expect to get anything out of me, you're going to be human enough and decent enough to take Shirley into this house to live. I'll pay for her board and her clothes.
J. Wellington Smythe: Why, Uncle Ned, that won't be necessary.
Anita Smythe: Well, naturally. We had no idea you felt this way about the child.
Uncle Ned Smith: Well, I do. If you don't want her here, I guess I can find some other place for her. And I guess I can find another place for me, too!
See more »


Referenced in Weeds: Good Shit Lollipop (2005) See more »


On the Good Ship Lollipop
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
Played during the opening credits and at the end
Performed by Shirley Temple and Chorus to music on a radio
Reprised a cappella by her during a flight
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Shirley's the star but Jane's the scene-stealer...
2 October 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Author/Director David Butler put together a script that showcases SHIRLEY TEMPLE as a lovable little girl who gets caught up in a nasty custody battle when her mother dies and her aviator god-father (JAMES DUNN)wants to adopt her. Scenes between Temple and Dunn are so natural that you'll have a hard time not getting a lump in your throat in the scene where he assures her that her mother (who has just died) is in heaven with the angels. Yes, it does get a little sticky at times.

But wait!! Before things become to saccharine and predictable, little JANE WITHERS, America's most lovable brat, shows up as a nasty rich girl who delights in tormenting everyone around her, especially Shirley. It's a great role for Jane and she makes the most of it, whether imitating a machine-gunner or threatening to make mincemeat of Shirley's dolls.

And believe me, she's a welcome presence in a Shirley Temple vehicle that does tend to get all dewy-eyed over the adorable princess. Watch the scene on the plane where the aviators all watch Temple as she sings "On the Good Ship Lollipop", strolling down the aisle and enjoying all the male attention. You can almost sense something darker than is supposed to meet the eye with the way they all leer at her. But she is, quite simply, at her most fetching in that casually charming little number.

Shirley's first film tailored just for her, and it opened at Radio City Music Hall in 1934 to cheer Depression-era audiences with its innocent star at her most disarming. Easy to see why she would become the nation's number one box-office star four years in a row.

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