Shirley lives with a lighthouse keeper who rescued her when her parents drowned. A truant officer decides she should go to boarding school, but she's rescued by relatives. Buddy Ebsen dances "At The Codfish Ball" with Shirley.
Wealthy Edward Morgan becomes charmed with a curly-haired orphan and her pretty older sister Mary and arranges to adopt both under the alias of "Mr. Jones." As he spends more time with them, he soon finds himself falling in love with Mary.
Ching-Ching gets lost in Shanghai and is befriended by American playboy Tommy Randall. She falls asleep in his car which winds up on a ship headed for America. Susan Parker, also on the ... See full summary »
Eddie Ellison is an ex-con who spent time in Sing-Sing prison. Kay marries him as soon as he serves his time. Five years later, Eddie and his ex-convict buddy Larry, have both gone straight... See full summary »
Dimples Appleby lives with the pick-pocket grandfather in 19th century New York City. She entertains the crowds while he works his racket. A rich lady makes it possible for the girl to go legit. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is performed.
After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years ... See full summary »
Shirley Temple's father, a rebel officer, sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family and is arrested. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape. Everyone is captured and the ... See full summary »
Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »
Rebecca's Uncle Harry leaves her with Aunt Miranda who forbids her to associate with show people. But neighbor Anthony Kent is a talent scout who secretly set it up for her to broadcast. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The original script calling the sponsor's product "Crackly Corn Flakes", was met with objections by the Quaker Oats Company, with whom Shirley had a tie-in deal for their Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice cereals. They thought that the sponsor's name sounded too close to Kellogg's Corn Flakes, a rival product. In the finished script, the product was re-named "Crackly Grain Flakes". See more »
The "greatest hits" debacle gets even worse, however, when rather than offering a few cobbled together lines of fake "hits" which would've at least kept her in character as Rebecca, Shirley instead sings a medley of... Shirley's hits. Ouch. See more »
Lately, I have watched a bunch of Shirley Temple movies. I used to think they were all very schmaltzy, but this isn't always the case. Plus, since she was such a lovable and adorable child, even a bit of schmaltz manages to work. Of the dozen or so Temple films I've seen in the last month, I would place "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" among the very best. And, after over 70 years, it's still very enjoyable.
This film begins with Rebecca being shuttled about by her no-good uncle (William Demarest) from one audition to another. At the final audition, Rebecca wows the producer (Randolph Scott) and sponsor but the dumb assistant (Jack Haley) tells the girl that she was rejected when she really wasn't. At the end of their ropes, the uncle dumps the child on her aunt--an old grouch living at Sunnybrook Farm. The aunt is happy to take the child and Rebecca soon endears herself to everyone (big surprise). In a coincidence you'll only see in movies, her new neighbor happens to be the producer--who has been frantically searching for the child for his show. But, when he eventually discovers who she is, the aunt is not about to let the girl 'ruin her life by going into show business'! What's next? See the film.
While the film has almost nothing to do with the novel "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm", it manages to work very, very well. Much of it is the writing--the script has a nice sense of humor and is better written than normal. In addition, a wonderful supporting cast helps by not placing all the film on the shoulders of little Shirley. In addition to Haley, Demarest and Scott, Gloria Stuart, Slim Summerville and Bill Robinson round out the cast. Overall, a treat--a Shirley Temple film that manages to make you smile and keeps the saccharine level in check. Well worth your time. Plus, it made my wife laugh and smile throughout--a positive statement indeed as she's even more cynical than me when it comes to films.
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