An orphaned girl believes she brings back luck to all those who take her in. Actually, it's the opposite: her plucky optimism and faith in the Lord mends fences and brings people together. Although not as well-known as a family picture like "The Wizard of Oz" (released the same year), "Bad Little Angel" has the same overlay of sentiment and uplift--also the same dog! Feisty, determined little Virginia Weidler is perfect in the lead, using the Bible as her guide and escaping a rotten orphanage for Egypt...Egypt, New Jersey, that is. It's fairly easy to knock a movie which goes to such corny lengths for its plot turns (a factory catching fire, a loving husband and father stopping the blaze but getting buried in the rubble, two children rescuing him, etc.), but when the results are delivered in such a heartfelt manner, cynicism no longer applies. MGM clearly wanted 1939 audiences to leave the theater feeling good, and that sincere attribute still resonates. *** from ****
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