Eight-year-old Heidi is orphaned and her selfish maternal Aunt Dete takes her to the mountains to live with Adolph Kramer, her grumpy, old, outcast, survivalist paternal grandfather. Heidi brings her grandfather back into mountain society through her angelic ways, sheer love, and adorable personality. When Aunt Dete steals Heidi away to be the companion of a rich man's invalid daughter, the grandfather is enraged and sets out to get her back. Back in Frankfurt, loved and adored by everyone she touches except the villainous housekeeper, Fraulein Rottenmeier, she thrives but is inwardly very sad and lonely. No matter what anyone tells her, Heidi, with faith, hope, and the stubbornness she inherited from her grandfather, knows that some day she will be reunited with the him and the beloved people of the mountain's little village. Written by
Terry Ann Smulen
Marcia Mae Jones was four years older and eighteen inches taller than Shirley Temple when this movie was filmed. Jones later recalled of the scene in which Temple helps her crippled character to walk that if she had really leaned on Temple, she "would have crushed her." See more »
Heidi removes the ribbon from her Christmas present twice, once in a closeup, then again when the shot changes. See more »
[discovering Heidi undressing in the street]
Heidi! Put those on!
Oh, not everything. I'm so hot!
Well, keep on your Sunday dress, and your coat. Hurry up.
Oh, all right.
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The child star at her peak...one of Shirley's best films...
"Heidi" is a childhood classic. It was only natural that Darryl F. Zanuck should choose to have his number one star play the title role in what has become a classic Shirley Temple film. Watching it, one has to be aware of just why this girl was one of the most famous of all the child stars. She has more charisma than the law allows!
While not completely faithful to the book, it is adapted to make it suitable to fit Shirley Temple's growing expertise as a child actress--and for good measure, a song sequence is included--"My Little Dutch Shoes"--to keep Shirley's fans happy. Jean Hersholt makes a perfect Grandfather, living in the Alps and at first resistant to Shirley's charm, stern and strict in behavior. Of course his heart soon melts and soon he's even attending church again. When Heidi is kidnapped, we see her in a rich man's household. Here she helps the crippled Klara to walk again and brightens up a gloomy household. In the end, of course, she is reunited with her grandfather for a teary reunion.
Perfect entertainment for youngsters who will probably fall under Temple's spell by the time the movie is over. Mary Nash is a standout as Fraulein Rottenmeier--although even meaner to Shirley in "The Little Princess". Too bad this one wasn't filmed in color. There is a colorized version available on video but I'm not partial to the colorization of black and white films. The colors are often distorted and unreal.
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