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In rural 1840's Scotland, Gavin Dishart arrives to become the new "little minister" of Thrums's Auld Licht church. He meets a mysterious young gypsy girl in the dens and to his horror Babbie draws him into her escape from the soldiers after she incites a Luddite riot. But unknown to Gavin, Babbie is more than she seems. And they must overcome her secret, the villagers' fears of her, and worst of all, Gavin's devotion to his mother's sensibilities, before they can openly declare their love. Written by
Although the copyright records state the film is based on J.M. Barrie's 1891 novel and not his 1897 play, most reviewers specify only the play. The onscreen credit does not say on which work the film is based. See more »
This was the last film version made of this delightful story based on James Matthew Barrie's first major successful novel and play, and it is long overdue for a modern remake, done with similar charm, beauty, and simplicity, please.
Here we find a timeless tale of a fresh-faced, youthful pastor boy, direct out of seminary, who loves his mother and has affection for his congregation, but who finds himself flaunting convention by falling in love against his will with a wild, beautiful gypsy girl. You could no more imagine this girl sitting quietly in a church praying than you could imagine Ted Kennedy becoming a Republican.
Gavin the minister, though he is "little" in physical size, is not small in courage or intellectual honesty. He knows he is falling in love with this girl, but can't seem to help himself. He fights his feelings, but still he is attracted, like a moth to a flame. She tricks him and teases him in their first encounters, yet he still comes back for more. There's just something different about this Babbie that he cannot resist (and one senses the gypsy girl feels the same way about Gavin). We see their relationship growing, the congregation begins to suspect something is distracting their beloved new minister from his duties, and an inevitable confrontation is in the works.
I won't give away any more, but go rent the video sometime or catch it on AMC or TCM, especially if you wish to see Katherine Hepburn in one of her most poignant, humorous and delightful performances (she even sings, too!). Kudos also to the late John Beal, who was perfectly cast as Gavin Dishart, the little minister. And an A-plus goes to Max Steiner for his lovely background musical score. Also, read the book by JMB when you get a chance; one can't put it down.
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