A girl gets into trouble at her orphanage and is sent away to reform school. She escapes en route but is found and brought to trial. Her father is the prosecutor. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
When Fox was looking around for a little girl to play the bratty nemesis to Shirley Temple's little "Miss Sweetness" in "Bright Eyes", they hit the jackpot with Jane Withers, a multi talented little girl who at eight had already had her own radio program in Atlanta. Critics loved her awful Joy and the feeling was that she stole the movie from Shirley. Fox signed her to a long term contract but far from being another Shirley Temple she was really a successor to Mitzi Green who by now had outgrown her "the kid you want to spank" type of roles. She became very popular, especially with cinema managers who welcomed her films which they knew would play to standing room only audiences who couldn't get enough of her "real little girl" performances.
In this movie Jane combines pathos with hi-jinks, as Judy Devlin, the naughtiest but funnest kid at the Sunshine Orphanage. She and Mary are fast friends and sensitive Mary dreams of the day when both of them will be adopted. When Judy is hiding in the basement from another prank gone wrong, she overhears a conversation when a gentleman (Ralph Morgan) visits the home looking for the daughter he has never seen. All he has to identify her is an unusual crest and Judy recognises it when she searched among the articles found in her own box. She is caught tampering with the boxes, with the result that Mary is thought to be the rightful daughter - which Judy had planned all along!!
Judy finds another home as well - the State Reform School!! but in a scene straight out of "The Poor Little Rich Girl" of the same year Judy gives the matron (coincidentally with the same Sara Haden from the Temple movie) the slip and heads off on another adventure!! This one involves moody Harry Carey as a pet shop owner who wants to take a stand against the head of a criminal protection racket but is afraid because of his shady past. Thomas Jackson who had a patent on all those slow talking menacing detectives, appears here as a slow talking criminal, Dutch, who sees a chance for a big haul when he realises Judy's friend Mary lives in the biggest house in town!!
A very entertaining movie which has Jane performing a pretty forgettable number, "Then Came the Indians" - obviously inserted because what would a Jane Wither's movie be without a snappy song!!
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