Dimples Appleby lives with the pick-pocket grandfather in 19th century New York City. She entertains the crowds while he works his racket. A rich lady makes it possible for the girl to go legit. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is performed.
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C. Aubrey Smith
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Dimples is a busker - a street entertainer, and lives in mid-19th century New York City's Bowery with her kindhearted but pickpocketing Grandfather, Prof. Eustace Appleby. Dimples is a talented child and is hired to perform at a party in the home of Mrs. Caroline Drew, an elderly widow living in Washington Square. Dimples delights the gathering and charms not only the elderly mistress of the house but her nephew Allen as well, a theatrical producer betrothed to a lovely society belle. Allen engages Dimples to perform the role of Little Eva in his production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" while Mrs. Drew makes it possible for Dimples to remain in her genteel home and enjoy its benefits. Various complications ensue and Dimples bravely makes the decision to sacrifice her happiness to return to her slum dwelling Grandfather. Mrs. Drew traces Dimples's whereabouts and convinces Prof. Appleby that his lovely granddaughter deserves something better than a life of poverty and crime in the Bowery. The... Written by
Herman Bing as "Proprietor" and Greta Meyer as "Proprietor's Wife" are in studio records/casting call lists as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. See more »
The film takes place in the early 1850s. Towards the end, in a scene set in a theater, the producer announces to the audience that "a new form of entertainment has come from the South," and he would like to be the first to present it in New York City. We then see a minstrel show. But by that time minstrel shows had been staged in New York for a decade, since the Virginia Minstrels performed at the New York Bowery Amphitheatre in 1843. See more »
For a wide variety of reasons, "Dimples" is among the poorest of Shirley Temple's full-length films. The characters are often quite unlikeable and there are MANY segments that simply made me cringe due to the film's racial insensitivity.
Dimples (Temple) lives with her no-good grandfather (Frank Morgan). Grandpa makes his living cheating people and picking pockets--yet somehow we are expected to somehow care about him. An old lady (Helen Westley) thinks Dimples is simply adorable (as did all of America in 1936) and wants to buy her from Grandpa! Now Grandpa tries to change his evil ways and care for her but he soon loses Allen Drew's money he entrusted to him and ends up considering the old lady's offer! In the meantime, there is a show to put on--and seeing all the black-faced folks putting on a minstrel show is quite a treat! And, it's sure to cause some viewers to have heart attacks.
While the minstrels and the addition of Stepin Fetchit are NOT unique to this Temple film (in "The Littlest Rebel" Shirley herself is in black-face and Willie Best does his best Fetchit imitation), it's made worse by a cast of characters you simply cannot like. All in all, a clear misfire by the studio and a far from satisfying family film.
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