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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
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.
Little orphaned HEIDI is abandoned at the Alpine home of
stern Grandfather - only the beginning in a series of
remarkable changes in both their lives.
Shirley Temple had one of her greatest triumphs as the diminutive heroine of Johanna Spyri's classic children's novel. So well does she fill the role - eyes bright, tremendous smile & bouncing curls - that it is difficult to imagine any other young American actress of the era playing the part.
Some might grumble at the various incongruities - the jumble of accents, the Dutch musical number - but that is beside the point. This was meant to be quality family entertainment and to earn Fox Studios a great deal of money. The film was a success on both scores.
Director Allan Dwan ensured that the book's high points were included in the film & Fox gave HEIDI very good production values - note especially the scenes of village life in Dorfli - and a fine supporting cast: gentle Jean Hersholt, perfect as the old Grandfather, gruff & lovable; droll Arthur Treacher, his comic English butler is definitely not in the original book, but he is hilarious nonetheless; Marcia Mae Jones as crippled Klara; Sidney Blackmer as her wealthy father; Sig Ruman as a police captain and elderly Helen Westley as the blind Grandmother.
There are often she dragons in Shirley Temple films, bitter women who try to thwart the innocent joys of the Mighty Moppet and end up either converted or punished. HEIDI boasts two villainesses, Mady Christians as hardhearted Aunt Dete & imperious Mary Nash as the strangely evil Fräulein Rottenmeier. So well do these ladies play their parts that they are able to grab some of the attention of the audience away from Miss Temple.
Movie mavens should recognize Greta Meyer as a Dorfli villager & Frank Reicher as a Frankfurt police lieutenant, both uncredited.
"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.
One of my top 40 favorite films, of all time. Can watch this movie over and over again. My Grandson will watch the entire movie with me, and he is just four years old. From the moment Heidi arrives on the mountain to live with her Grandfather, the film captures ones imagination. The spirit of Heidi, the bond she develops with her Grandfather. Her finding a bed in the straw with the coverlet, milking the goat, carrying a load of firewood on her back, and my Grandson's favorite scene, sledding down the snow covered mountain on a sled, all show the child's perfect life with her Grandfather. When disrupted by her mean-spirited Aunt, and taken to live in the city, Heidi is instantly a favorite of Clara, the Butler and Clara's father. Once again, heart warming scenes capture the spirit of the girl. The monkey shines, the school lessons, the manners taught, all paint a vivid picture. None the less, Heidi and the Grandfather can not be kept apart, and each fights a mighty battle to be rejoined. Don't miss this fabulous film, a favorite around the holidays, when Heidi sings "Silent Night", I challenge you to keep a tear from your eye. Beautiful film.
It is so hard to pick a favorite Shirley Temple flick. All of hers are
great. However, the most moving ones to me are "The Little Princess," and
this one: "Heidi." Little Miss Everything is usually known for making
everyone happy. She is still a charming little girl. Heidi and her aunt go
on a trek together. Even though most think that her grandfather is cruel,
Heidi knows what's true. It is so perfect for Christmas. The family can
gather in the living room to watch, whenever it's on or someone like me
watches it on video. I enjoy these heartwarmers. "Heidi" is definitely one
As for the movie itself, Heidi teaches you to believe in everything. She helps Klara with that. That is a valuable lesson.
A funny part of this film is that Heidi receives a music box with her grandfather's house inside it. She has fond memories of him.
These are one of the best movies I like for the rest of my life since I was little. In that movie, Heidi (who was played by Shirley Temple) lived with her grandfather then has been kidnapped by her nasty Aunt Dete then been threatened by that stupid Frauline Rottenmeier. It has really great scenes that takes place in the Alps of Germany and then Frankfurt. Since when I saw that movie, I thought it wouldn't be interesting but, now it is. By the way, the video of the movie is now in a colorized version.
This is one of my favorite movies of all times. Love of
love of friends, interesting locations and people all make
a great family movie. And to boot, it's one of Shirley's
which puts it at the top. Put your sophistication and
hat away, and sit back and enjoy the emotions this film
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
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!
Yes, another very good Shirley Temple movie. I must say I love all
Shirley movies, I don't have a "favorite" one(except for the very first
movie of hers I saw, which is very close to my heart), but Heidi is a
great movie and I think everybody must see it.
Heidi's an orphaned girl who lived with her aunt for six years. Then the aunt got a job and she had to live with her grandfather, a very unsociable man, who have a terrible humor and hates everyone. He lives in the mountains. Later, the aunt comes back to take Heidi to the big city to be the playmate of a girl that can't walk.
I think this is one of the greatest(if it's not the best)Shirley's acting performances. In that movie she shows that she's not just a cute little girl that can tap dance and smile! She shows she's a good actress. A very good actress. I just think that only one sing-and-dance number's not enough for a Shirley Temple movie -- but the only sing-and-dance number in that film is great("In our little Wooden shoes").
That story was adored by me when I was a kid. I saw an animated version, the 1970's movie version and I read the book. When I became a Shirley Temple fan and noticed that she'd played Heidi, I said "WOW! Shirley played Heidi!" and after I saw that movie I absolutely 'fell in love' with Shirley.There are some parts of the film that make me cry, like the Christmas scene and the ending scene(apart from Shirley's cute smile of course!).
Anyway, a very good movie. Enjoyable, happy, and with the great Child-Star Shirley Temple starring in it. Anyone who wants to watch this film with the kids but think they won't like because it's black-and-white, just try. I'm sure they'll get into the story and that they'll love it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Shirley Temple is perfectly cast in this touching version of the oft-told tale. As the uplifting Heidi, she is bounced around from relative to relative before her cruel aunt winds up giving her off to live in a shack in the Swiss mountains with her grumpy old grandfather (Jean Hersholt). Through Heidi's lovable nature, the grandfather eventually learns to abandon his bitterness and becomes a much more pleasant person who is liked by his fellow villagers who once shunned him. But just when things are looking up, the aunt returns to steal Heidi and sell her off to a wealthy family whose wheelchair-bound daughter needs a friend. A good film with a great deal of heart. *** out of ****
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