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
The scene in which Heidi smuggles a litter of kittens into the house, and the following scene in which Sebastian hides the kittens from Heidi's cat-hating aunt, were in the original book; the scene with the capuchin monkey was written for the film. See more »
After Heidi starts undressing in the street, her pile of clothes disappears between shots. 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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Some people have said this is Shirley Temple's best film. It's not my favorite but I admit it is very, very good....and it has some of the most touching, wonderful moments of any of her films. In fact, there were several times in the first part of this film that produced tears in my eyes. Of course, I am an old sentimentalist. Nonetheless, this is wonderful stuff.
The only reason I don't rank this among my favorite Temple films is the mean old lady, "Fraulein Rottenmeier," played by Mary Nash, has too big a role in the second half of the movie making for a number of unpleasant scenes. I had gotten so involved with the story that I couldn't stand to see this mean woman so nasty to "Heidi" (Temple). Also, there was only one song-and-dance number and that's not enough for Shirley Temple movie.
The other characters were fine. Arthur Treacher provides good humor; Jean Hersholt is great as the gruff-then-loving grandfather and Marcia Mae Jones is nice as the young invalid.
This is a true classic story and ends with perhaps the most gorgeous and sweetest smile I've ever seen on Shirley's face.
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