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W.S. Van Dyke,
Robert Z. Leonard
1930's programmer is strictly fluff for teen-aged girls...
For starters, ANNE SHIRLEY, wearing a dark bathrobe with white collar design, looks exactly like Olivia de Havilland in an early scene from THE DARK MIRROR. I always thought they resembled each other strongly, but never more so than in this film.
The story is the same old trite stuff about the petty squabbles among girls at a boarding school who become upset when the school monitor (Anne Shirley) has to report their extra-curricular activities to the school principal (GLORIA HOLDEN). Pretty blonde NAN GREY becomes the primary target when Shirley spies her coming home late after a night out.
You know the material is dated when the girls are gathered to listen to a speech "on a very important subject--charm", by an aristocratic lady foolishly extolling the virtues of exuding charm, the most important ingredient young ladies of the world are supposed to have in 1938, no matter how air-headed they are. Charm is distinctly lacking in the screenplay.
Although Anne Shirley plays her teen role with an overabundance of energetic innocence, it's hard to see why Selznick, a year later, tested her for Melanie in "Gone with the Wind". At least, not on the basis of this girlish performance.
It's the kind of B-film you can easily skip without missing anything.
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