The Little Princess (1939)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  17 March 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,007 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 13 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.


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Greene ...
Arthur Treacher ...
Sybil Jason ...
Lord Wickham
Marcia Mae Jones ...
Beryl Mercer ...
Deidre Gale ...
Ira Stevens ...
E.E. Clive ...
Eily Malyon ...


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 | Plot Synopsis


A great classic comes to life in glorious Technicolor!


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

17 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La princesita  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The full name of the book this movie is based on is "A Little Princess, Being the Whole Story of Sara Crewe Here Told For the First Time" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Version of Princess Sarah (2007) See more »


Soldiers of the Queen
(1894) (uncredited)
by Leslie Stuart
Played in the opening credits and when soldiers march by to the relief of Mafeking
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Cute and a good family film
19 July 2004 | by (texas) – See all my reviews

Shirley at 12yrs old is a delight as the sad little girl left in a very snotty all girls boarding school while her father is away at war in 1899,later on he is reported killed and leaves shirley with noone and no money so she is forced to work as a servant to pay her way.. I do admit that this is not one of Shirley's best,for example Shirley's crying scenes are a bit heavy handed and forced but overall she is still so cute you just cant help but love her. I also enjoyed the girl who played Becky ,she was so cute too. Mary Nash could have been the wicked witch in the wizard of oz ,she does good as the nasty head mistress. Look for a very young and handsome Cesar Romero as the Indian servant of an English nobleman. Best scene , Shirley giving a snotty schoolgirl her comeuppance. A timeless family classic to show your children again and again.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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