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Captain January (1936)

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Shirley lives with a lighthouse keeper who rescued her when her parents drowned. A truant officer decides she should go to boarding school, but she's rescued by relatives. Buddy Ebsen dances "At The Codfish Ball" with Shirley.



(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Captain January (1936)

Captain January (1936) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Guy Kibbee ...
Captain January
Captain Nazro
Paul Roberts
Sara Haden ...
Agatha Morgan
Eliza Croft
June Lang ...
Mary Marshall
Jerry Tucker ...
Cyril Morgan
Mrs. John Mason
John Mason
Jim Farley ...
Deputy Sheriff (as James Farley)
Si Jenks ...
Old Sailor


Shirley lives with a lighthouse keeper who rescued her when her parents drowned. A truant officer decides she should go to boarding school, but she's rescued by relatives. Buddy Ebsen dances "At The Codfish Ball" with Shirley.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Singing, dancing, the most lovable story she's ever had! See more »


Comedy | Musical | Family


G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain January  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(FMC Library Print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In one scene of this film, Shirley Temple's character is given a crane for her birthday. This crane continually pecked at cast and crew members, so a prop man nailed its webbed feet to the floor. Director David Butler insisted that this was not painful for the crane, and Shirley Temple later recalled that the crane never seemed to be suffering, even after the nails were removed. The local humane society learned of the incident and sent an agent to the set to investigate, but when the agent tried to get a closer look at the crane, it pecked at her, too. See more »


Capt. Nazro: Star can read writing and write reading better than any six year old on this coast.
Capt. January: Any six year old? Why, there ain't no seven or eight year old that knows as much as Star. I've been learning her from the two best books there is, The Bible and Bounty.
Mrs. Agatha Mogan: Bounty? A book on navigation? Fine reading for a child of six!
Capt. Nazro: Any objections to The Bible?
Capt. January: There ain't no better reading in the world than The Bible and Bounty. They both learn you to steer a straight course.
See more »


Featured in Living Seas (1986) See more »


At the Codfish Ball
Music by Lew Pollack
Lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell
Sung and danced by Shirley Temple (uncredited) and Buddy Ebsen (uncredited)
Also sung by Shirley Temple (uncredited), Guy Kibbee (uncredited), Slim Summerville (uncredited) and an offscreen Chorus
Played also during the end credits
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User Reviews

Another Shirley Temple Family Film Classic
29 September 2001 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A vindictive truant officer attempts to wrest little Star from CAPTAIN JANUARY, the old lighthouse keeper who saved her from a watery grave.

Shirley Temple captivates her audience once again in this, one of her most popular films. Aided by fine production values courtesy of Fox, the Tiny Tyke does not disappoint. Singing & dancing, laughing or crying, she once again exhibits all the talents which for years made her top of the Hollywood box office heap.

It's difficult to imagine anyone other than cuddly Guy Kibbee in the title role. He's excellent, but he's also given firm support from old pros Slim Summerville & Jane Darwell. Sara Haden makes a nasty villainess, while OUR GANG bad boy Jerry Tucker is her obnoxious nephew. Pretty June Lang plays the sweet village schoolteacher.

Amiable hoofer Buddy Ebsen joins Shirley in a wonderful song & dance number, ‘The Cod Fish Ball.' Tall & pliable, with plenty of goofy facial expressions, Buddy's performance gives a little idea as to how much he might have contributed to THE WIZARD OF OZ three years later over at Metro, had not health reasons forced him to withdrawal.

Shirley also sings ‘Early Bird' and, in a delightful nursery fantasy, ‘The Right Somebody To Love.'

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