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.
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 »
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.
Don Middleton is so caught up with his work he neglects his wife Elsa. Lonely Elsa begins to spend more time with Don's best friend and they become attracted to one another. Don and Elsa ... See full summary »
Priscilla Williams is a young girl traveling with her mother, Joyce, to join her paternal grandfather, a British army colonel, at the post he commands in northern India. Upon arrival, they ... See full summary »
C. Aubrey Smith
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 »
When her father, Captain Crewe, goes off to fight in the Boer War, young Sara Crewe is placed into the care of Amanda Minchin, the head of an exclusive private school for girls. Sara lives a wonderful life of a privileged child and is quite happy in her surroundings. When her father is listed as missing in action however, her life goes from one of plenty to that of a poor house maid. Mrs. Minchin agrees to keep her on at the school, but in the absence of her tuition payments, she has to work for her keep. She is soon cleaning out the fireplace and scrubbing floors and is dubbed the little princess by her former schoolmates. She also refuses to accept that her father is dead and prowls the hospitals in the hope of locating him. Luck - and Royal intervention - assist her in her quest. Written by
The original source of the movie was a novel called "Sara Crewe; or, What Happened at Miss Minchin's" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and it was published in 1888. She later adapted her book for the stage calling it "A Little Princess" (in London, 1902) and "The Little Princess" (in New York, 1903). It was successful enough that her publisher, C. Scribner's Sons, requested that she expand her original novel to include scenes from the play. The result was the final novel, "A Little Princess; being the whole story of Sara Crewe," which was published in 1905, and is the secondary source for the movie. See more »
In opening scene, the father is referred to as "Captain" but the rank on his shoulder is that of first lieutenant based on the two pips he wears. A captain's rank is three pips. See more »
Why are they sending so many soldiers, daddy, if it's only going to be a little war?
Captain Reginald Crewe:
To make those stubborn Boers take us seriously this time, my darling. When they realize Her Majesty intends to put a stop to their nonsense, they'll quiet down.
They'd better. Anyhow, when you get there, you'll stop them. Won't you, daddy?
Captain Reginald Crewe:
I'll do my best, dear.
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This Shirley Temple feature is worth seeing for a number of very nice moments in the story of "The Little Princess". It might be a little longer than necessary, and the story development is sometimes uneven, which keeps it from achieving its full potential. It offers the young Temple a variety of material to work with, and she has some very good sequences.
For the most part, it follows the familiar story, though often embellished, particularly towards the end. The story and Temple's characterization give it a rather different feel from, for example, the silent version that starred Mary Pickford. Here, Temple projects much of her own persona, with her best moments coming with Arthur Treacher, who plays the easygoing brother of the stern headmistress. The character of Becky is still significant, but Temple does not ever have the rapport with her that Pickford and Zasu Pitts had in the earlier version.
As a result, it's a bit uneven overall, but for those who enjoy this kind of story, it's still worthwhile. The public domain print makes it somewhat difficult to evaluate the production end, although it clearly contained plenty of detail and color. It's a decent if unexceptional feature whose high points are usually worth waiting for.
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