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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 3,504 users  
Reviews: 42 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)

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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 | Plot 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 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 »

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

Remade as Principessina (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Charming Shirley Temple film with heart-warming conclusion...
13 January 2002 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

There are those who claim Shirley Temple couldn't really act--but The Little Princess is living proof that she was much more than just a dimpled tot who could sing and dance on cue. Her tearful reunion with her missing dad (Ian Hunter) in a hospital ward at the conclusion of this classic story should move even the most hardened cynic. Her tears range from joy to hysteria as she tries to tell the shell-shocked soldier that she is his daughter.

This is a lavish technicolor delight with Shirley Temple at 12 doing an expert job as Sara, the little miss who has to bear the indignities of a boarding school once her father has been declared dead in the Boer war. The harsh mistress (Mary Nash) has her stripped of all privileges and makes her live in the attic while becoming a servant in the very household where she was once called "the little princess" by the other girls. There are departures from the novel since the script is given a "Shirley Temple formula" to ensure its success as the right vehicle for her at that time. But the addition of a dream sequence does no discernible harm, nor is the brief song-and-dance with Arthur Treacher to "The Old Kent Road" much of a distraction.

It succeeds in being a heart-warming tale of a girl's courage and determination when it seems that there is no hope of finding her father alive. The ending with Queen Victoria giving Shirley an approving nod, is an added delight. One of Shirley's best performances with a wonderful cast of supporting players: Richard Greene, Anita Louise, Mary Nash, Sybil Jason, Arthur Treacher and Cesar Romero all doing expert work.


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Why are the film adaptions so different from the book? hellotrouble
Wasn't this movie originally in black and white? Shawmin9
Temple's best film? classicmoviecomedy
Which DVD? UncleCliffy
British version eaward27
They don't make movies like this any more stargazer1701-1
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