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Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 722 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 6 critic

The daughter of a wealthy businessman becomes lost in the city while traveling to a new school, and is taken in by a pair of down-on-their-luck performers.

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(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Title: Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Barbara Barry
...
Jerry Dolan
...
Margaret Allen
...
Jimmy Dolan
Michael Whalen ...
Richard Barry
Sara Haden ...
Collins
...
Woodward
Claude Gillingwater ...
Simon Peck
Paul Stanton ...
George Hathaway
Henry Armetta ...
Tony
Charles Coleman ...
Stebbins
Arthur Hoyt ...
Percival Gooch
...
Flagin
Tyler Brooke ...
Dan Ward
Mathilde Comont ...
Tony's Wife
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Storyline

Little Barbara gets lost and is then picked up by entertainers who make her part of their act. Barbara's father hears the act on the radio and finds his lost daughter. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 July 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pobre niña rica  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

(re-release)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play, "The Poor Little Rich Girl" by Eleanor Gates, opened in New York at the Hudson Theater on 21 January 1913 and closed in June 1913 after 160 performances. Besides Viola Dana in the starring role, the opening night cast included Alan Hale. The play is based on Gates' novel published in 1912. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy Dolan: Didn't I tell you all we needed was a break? Thirteen weeks on the dotted line, signed and sealed.
Jerry Dolan: Oh, it's wonderful, Jimmy. I just hope we click.
Jimmy Dolan: Oh, we'll knock 'em dead.
Barbara Barry: Do we have to kill people?
Jimmy Dolan: Oh, we won't kill them, we'll just slay 'em.
See more »


Soundtracks

Oh My Goodness
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Revel
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Sung by Shirley Temple
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Favorite Shirley Film.
19 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

Little Shirley Temple stars as Barbara Barry, a pampered only-child growing tired her lonely, friendless life in her big empty mansion. She craves attention from her loving but absentee dad, the owner of a major soap brand, and even devotes an entire song sequence to how much she misses him, but the clueless man still thinks it is better to buy his daughter riches than to spend time with her.

When her nanny is struck in a hit-and-run at the train station, little Barbara strikes on her own to meet friends. After spending a day with an Italian organ grinder and his colorful family, Barbara joins up with Jack Haley and Alice Faye as down-on-their-luck married singers Dolan and Dolan. Adopting the identity of her favorite book character, Barbara tells the Dolans that she is runaway orphan Betsy Weer. Soon she is given another alias: Pretending to be the Dolan daughter, Bonny Dolan, Barbara turns their failing act around, and the trio is hired to advertise for the Peck Soap Company, the arch rival of Barbara's father's soap brand.

As Bonny, Barbara wins the hearts of all her audiences, until her father hears her voice singing on the radio. Mr. Barry finds his daughter just in time to save her from a mysterious stalker who has been following the young girl around throughout the entire movie, always accompanied by eerie orchestral music. In one scene, he peers through a window and watches Barbara sleeping, and in another, he tries to lure her away with the promise to buy her candy. What's even more disturbing is that the movie never says exactly what this creep wants with Barbara. The fate of Barbara's nanny is never revealed either; she is simply whisked away to a hospital after the car collision and is not seen or mentioned again.

Despite these two loose ends, Poor Little Rich Girl is a perfect example of the standard Temple story. All ingredients for a Shirley smash are here: long tap-dance numbers (Shirley's dance-off with Jack Haley will knock your socks off), lots of cute songs (particularly enjoyable are "Oh My Goodness" and "You've Gotta Eat Your Spinach, Baby"), a cranky curmudgeon who warms his heart to Shirley (in "Poor Little Rich Girl," it's Mr. Peck, but see Ned Smith in "Bright Eyes," Colonel Lloyd in "The Little Colonel," or Lord Wickham in "The Little Princess," for other examples), and a happy ending. Her story lines may seem trite and repetitive now, but they were what the nation wanted to see in the 1930s, when Shirley Temple was one of the biggest stars in the world and a guaranteed box office smash. Shirley was obviously enjoying the height of fame at the time of this movie, as one song, "But Definitely," makes a reference to two of her most famous songs, "The Good Ship Lollipop" and "Animal Crackers in My Soup."


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