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The Little Princess (1939)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Family  -  17 March 1939 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,449 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 12 critic

A little girl is left by her father in an exclusive seminary for girls, due to her father having to go to Africa with the army.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Little Princess (1939)

The Little Princess (1939) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Greene ...
...
Rose
Ian Hunter ...
...
Arthur Treacher ...
...
Sybil Jason ...
...
Lord Wickham
Marcia Mae Jones ...
Beryl Mercer ...
Deidre Gale ...
Ira Stevens ...
E.E. Clive ...
Eily Malyon ...
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | servant | boer war | school | england | See more »

Taglines:

A great classic comes to life in glorious Technicolor!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La princesita  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The reason Shirley Temple hadn't made a movie in Technicolor until this one was that the Technicolor company insisted that 1,000 foot-candle lights be used to get proper exposure on their film. These incredibly bright lights produced so much heat that the staff at Fox thought a child Temple's age would be hurt working under such conditions. So, with the cooperation of the Technicolor company, cinematographer Arthur C. Miller worked on a series of tests using lower levels of light, and finally discovered that 400 to 500 foot-candle lights would produce a satisfactory Technicolor image without generating so much heat to risk injuring Temple and the other children in the film's cast. See more »

Goofs

There are many references in the film to receiving "mail" and "mailing" letters. The British terminology is always receiving "post" and "posting" letters. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sara Crewe: 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.
Sara Crewe: 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Glorious Technicolor (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Cherry Ripe
(1826) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Edward Horn
Played in "The Fantasy" number
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Has Some Very Nice Moments
7 November 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

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.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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