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Bright Eyes (1934)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,191 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 11 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.

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(screen play), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Bright Eyes (1934)

Bright Eyes (1934) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
James Dunn ...
Loop Merritt
...
Mrs. Higgins
Judith Allen ...
Adele Martin
...
Mary Blake
Charles Sellon ...
Uncle Ned Smith
Walter Johnson ...
Thomas
...
Joy Smythe
Theodore von Eltz ...
J. Wellington Smythe (as Theodor von Eltz)
Dorothy Christy ...
Anita Smythe
Brandon Hurst ...
Higgins
...
Judge Thompson
Edit

Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 December 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shirley aviatrice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director David Butler wrote the story based on an incident that happened in his childhood. His parents had advertised for a live-in maid, and a woman answered the ad who had just arrived from Scotland. She had a little girl and was separated from her husband - an unusual circumstance at the time - and said she wouldn't take the job unless her daughter was allowed to live in the house with her, also an unusual circumstance at the time. Butler's parents agreed, and the woman and her daughter moved in with the family. See more »

Goofs

When Shirley is out with Joy giving their dolls buggy rides and Joy wants to operate on Shirley's doll, Shirley says she doesn't want Mary Lou to be operated on. But the doll she actually has is not the small one she named Mary Lou, it's the larger one named Lupee given to her by the aviators. See more »

Quotes

Anita Smythe: You must practice your piano. You won't have to practice again until after Santa Claus comes.
Joy Smythe: There ain't any Santa Claus!
Anita Smythe: Don't say ain't, darling, say isn't.
Joy Smythe: Ain't, ain't, ain't!
J. Wellington Smythe: What's all this noise about?
Joy Smythe: Mama wants me to practice, and I don't wanna!
J. Wellington Smythe: You must do as your mother says.
Joy Smythe: No, I ain't gonna!
J. Wellington Smythe: Now, see here ...
Anita Smythe: Now, darling, remember what the psychoanalyst said. The child mind must never be coerced. One must use reason and persuasion. Now, dear, practice your piano and Mama will ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
English lyrics Anonymous
In the score on Christmas Eve and sung in English by an offscreen Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Shirley Temple on the Good Ship Lollipop
17 March 2014 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Five-year-old Glendale, California tyke Shirley Temple (as Shirley Blake) hitch-hikes to the airport to visit her godfather pilot James Dunn (as James "Loop" Merritt). Not many kids could do that today. While she's away, we meet the curly top's family. She lives with mother Lois Wilson (as Mary Blake), who works as the maid for a wealthy family headed by another former "silent film" star, Theodor von Eltz (as J. Wellington Smythe). His snooty wife Dorothy Christy (as Anita) decides to fire mother Wilson for receiving too many telephone calls. However, their obnoxious but deep-down softie uncle Charles Sellon (as Ned Smith) likes Ms. Temple. He calls her "Bright Eyes". The illustrious cast includes servants Jane Darwell and Brandon Hurst. But the most memorable member of the household is Ms. Temple's antithesis – the classic spoiled brat character played by Jane Withers (as Joy Smythe). She decapitates dolls and terrorizes wheelchair-bound uncle Sellon from her tricycle...

"Bright Eyes" was a very successful early vehicle for Temple. The cartoon-like film captures all of her adorableness. Temple sings "On the Good Ship Lollipop" with the girlish innocence (some say sexuality) of a bygone era. Her amateurish vocals balance the perfect doll-like looks. The film has all the subtext depression-weary audiences loved – most importantly, undeserving and insufferable rich characters are put in their place by the angelic, suffering poor. Temple won an "Academy Award" for her cumulative work in 1934; this film has been mentioned as the one most responsible for bringing her the juvenile acting award, but contemporary reviews and research give the honor to "Little Miss Marker" (1934). In the earlier film, "The New York Times" rated Temple's performance higher than co-star Adolphe Menjou. Until the end of the decade, Temple would play variations of her "Bright Eyes" character, ringing up box office cash registers like no other child star, before or since.

****** Bright Eyes (12/20/34) David Butler ~ Shirley Temple, James Dunn, Jane Withers, Charles Sellon


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