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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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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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A classic of childish heartache, courage, and laughter! See more »


Comedy | Musical | Family


G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Anjo do Farol  »

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?


The lobsters that appear in the background during the "At the Codfish Ball" sequence were real. To prevent them from crawling out of their baskets, the props crew cooked them, which turned them from their natural dark color to bright red. The crew painted them back to the original color, and as soon as the scene was completed, they cracked the lobsters opened and ate them on the spot. 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 Bowditch.
Mrs. Agatha Mogan: Bowditch? 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 Bowditch. They both learn you to steer a straight course.
See more »


Version of Captain January (1924) See more »


Asleep in the Deep
(1897) (uncredited)
Music by Henry W. Petrie
Lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb
Sung a cappella by Shirley Temple
Also performed a cappella by Shirley Temple, Guy Kibbee and Slim Summerville
See more »

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User Reviews

January, February, March, any month is good to watch this fine flick!
30 May 2013 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Little Star (Shirley Temple) lives in a lighthouse with the keeper, Captain January (Guy Kibbee). He is her unofficial guardian and has been so for years, after rescuing the little gal from a shipwreck. Her parents drowned. Their is strong love and bond between the crusty older man and the wee girl. Because he wants to keep her in his household, Cap hasn't registered Star for school, even though she is of kindergarten age. Instead, he has taught her at home, giving her arithmetic lessons as they count the steps up and down the lighthouse and so forth. Also on hand to help are Cap's argumentative friend, Nazro (Slim Summerville) and sailor Paul (Budde Ebsen). But, spying Star on the streets, a truant officer insists that Cap put Star in school. Very nervous about this venture, as Star doesn't have any dresses and, more importantly, he considers Star his family and doesn't want it ripped apart, the two move forward. Cap borrows money from a friend to buy Star a lovely dress and the little girl does so well on the entrance exam, she is put in first grade immediately! More trouble arrives. The lighthouse is being replaced by one that doesn't need a keeper and Cap will be out of a job. As his employment is uncertain, Star may indeed be placed in a foster home. But, what about the documents found with Star during the shipwreck? Could they provide information about any relatives Star might still have in the world? Don't fret, happy endings are what our Shirley does best! This beautiful film is a delight in every way. The cast is terrific, with Kibbee, Summerville, Ebsen and the rest supporting the most darling child star ever. Just watch Temple and the young Ebsen dance to the wonderful At the Codfish Ball. The coastal scenery is also nice while the story has plenty of humor and drama to provide captivating entertainment. Be it January, February, March or any other month, get Captain January and know you will be watching one of Shirley's best films ever.

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