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The Littlest Rebel (1935)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 756 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 8 critic

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 »



(screen play), (from the play by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Littlest Rebel (1935)

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Complete credited cast:
Virgie Cary
John Boles ...
Captain Herbert Cary
Colonel Morrison
Karen Morley ...
Mrs. Cary
Uncle Billy
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Sergeant Dudley (as Guinn Williams)
Willie Best ...
James Henry
Frank McGlynn Sr. ...
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Hannah Washington ...
Sally Ann


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 officers are to be executed. Shirley and "Bojangles" Robinson beg President Lincoln to intercede. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America's Little Sweetheart . . . The Dimpled Darling You Love in the Greatest of Civil War Dramas !


Comedy | Drama | Family | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Pequena Rebelde  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 14, 1940 with Shirley Temple reprising her film role. See more »


Capt. Herbert Cary, aka 'Master Cary': You remember how Mommy always taught you never to tell a lie?
Virginia 'Virgie' Cary: I never have, Daddy.
Capt. Herbert Cary, aka 'Master Cary': And Mommy's proud of you for it, but if those Yankees should come in here, you've got to tell a lie.
Virginia 'Virgie' Cary: You want me to tell a lie?
Capt. Herbert Cary, aka 'Master Cary': Just this once for Daddy. And in a case like this, it really isn't a lie. If they should ask you, you must tell them that I was here but I left an hour ago and you saw me cross the river. Be brave and do this for me, dear.
Virginia 'Virgie' Cary: Daddy, would General Lee want me to tell that lie?
Capt. Herbert Cary, aka 'Master Cary': Yes, dear.
Virginia 'Virgie' Cary: All...
See more »


Featured in That's Dancing! (1985) See more »


Polly Wolly Doodle
(1880) (uncredited)
Modified Music by Sidney Clare (1935)
Modified Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva (1935)
Sung by Shirley Temple with Bill Robinson
Reprised at the end by Shirley Temple
See more »

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User Reviews

Death at an Early Age
12 January 2013 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

At her Richmond birthday party, six-year-old Shirley Temple (as Virginia "Virgie" Cary) is delighted when dutiful dancing slave Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (as "Uncle Billy") entertains on cue. The towering tap-dancer doesn't understand slavery. And yet, Mr. Robinson is one of the smarter servants in the cast. The others, led by Willie Best (as James Henry), can most politely be described as mentally challenged. The outbreak of the US Civil War disrupts Ms. Temple's happy life. Handsome father John Boles (as Herbert Cary) is called to duty, and "The Littlest Rebel" must see President Lincoln himself, to set things right...

Unless some subversive statement is being made by having the confederate "Curly Top" leading a group of Black children in white-coned caps, the motive is strictly to entertain. However, the story features abhorrently rampant racism. Here, the slaves are happy to serve the obviously superior white folks - and why shouldn't they? They wouldn't know how to say, "Emancipation Proclamation," let alone understand slavery. Other racially problematic films have some depth to the characters, attempt to honestly reflect the times, or advance film as an art. You have little of that, here. Temple and Robinson dance appealingly together, however.

*** The Littlest Rebel (12/19/35) David Butler ~ Shirley Temple, Bill Robinson, John Boles, Willie Best

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