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 movie was filmed during the summer, and Jean Hersholt's heavy costume once caused him to collapse from heat exhaustion. See more »
Dete brings Heidi to the Sesemann house in the evening, and she leaves almost immediately. However, the next day, Fräulein Rottenmeier says that Dete did not leave until earlier that morning. 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 story of Heidi is kind of hard to present to film-goers. As a book it's wonderful and engaging, but it's just not movie material. Thus we get versions like this, with kidnapping and gypsies and an evil witch of a Fraulein Rottenmeier who wants to keep Klara sick and bring Heidi down.
But how can you not love Shirley Temple? She just takes any movie and makes it golden! And we also have the heart of the story: a little girl who teaches a grumpy old man to open up his heart again. And those two things by themselves help the movie to shine.
A wonderful classic, especially for young viewers, but also good for the young at heart!
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