Young Phillip Ainsworth, (Bobby Breen), an orphan of the US Civil War, has been lovingly raised by Toinette, (Louise Beavers) a former slave. Toinette has big plans for the boy. She has saved her money to send him to a private school. But when the local priest, Father Josef, (Henry O'Neill) finds Phillip's family living in New York, the boy is sent north to live with people who refuse to accept him as their own. His only friend is the butler, Barrett, (Charles Butterworth). But his curmodgeon of a grandmother, (May Robson) is finally broken down by the boy's charm and good manners, and all ends happily. Along the way Breen has ample opportunity to show off his voice by singing several songs, including the title song three times. Written by
This gorgeous famiy film was a smash success in Australia and I assume everywhere else in first release. My late mother Patricia keenly remembered seeing it at out local 1500 seat Marina Theatre in Rosebery at a session so packed she had to sit on the steps upstairs. I had the 78rpm record for years (still have, actually) and it is astonishing what a great voice Bobby Breen had. His series of Musicals really should be re packaged and dvd released as they are excellent, and I am astonished to find came from Principal Pictures (Chandu, anyone?) who I thought had folded into Republic in 1935. This film like all the others was released by RKO on a world wide plan so I guess all were a kid series to their Astaire Rogers musical series concurrent.
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