4.5/10
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A Gift for Heidi (1958)

Approved | | Family, Drama
This movie is about one summer holiday in the life of the famous children's book character Heidi, the orphan girl who lives with her grandfather (whom Heidi, like everybody else including ... See full summary »

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(original story), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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...
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Doc.
Erik Jelde ...
Ernst
...
Mr. Binder
Oswald Ursteins ...
Carlo
Susan Salnio ...
Clara (as Susan Saino)
Karin Rose ...
Louise
Harold Benedict ...
Don
...
Dr. Roth
Paul McClintock ...
Gen. Manby
Hap Hanson ...
Col. Porter (as 'Hap' Hanson)
C. Fowler ...
Capt. McBee
Edwin Anderson ...
Lt. Williams
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Storyline

This movie is about one summer holiday in the life of the famous children's book character Heidi, the orphan girl who lives with her grandfather (whom Heidi, like everybody else including the cast list, calls "Alm Uncle") on the outskirts of a small village in the Alps. Heidi has a gift of three carved wooden figures made by a craftsman neighbour: Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. However, rather than gold, frankincense, and myrrh, her grandfather and the village doctor gradually teach Heidi the idea that the gifts they bring are faith, charity and hope. Adventures include Heidi entering her friend Peter for a singing competition without telling him; befriending a rich but lonely man from the big city who is an associate of the father of Heidi's little girl friend who comes to stay for the holidays; and joining Peter on an expedition up the highest mountain in the neighbourhood, in a bid to rescue a soldier and his bride who on their honeymoon decide (against the advice of the children ... Written by IPH

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Genres:

Family | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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(Eastmancolor)

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Sequel
5 January 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Unhappily the print I saw of this movie had gone soft and scratchy. Even with that discounted, this is a peculiar production. The juvenile leads -- Sandy Descher as Heidi and Van Dyke Parks as Peter -- are a touch slow and unnatural, both in their movements and line readings. It's as if the director did not quite understand how to handle American child actors and the script has been reduced to almost telegraphic indications of the individual incidents.

On top of that, it has to contend with two very powerful memories: the Shirley Temple version and the fact that my mother read the book to me when I was sick as a child: she loved the book so much, she named my sister Heidi. It's hard for any film to measure up to those standards.

Nonetheless, some real effort was made, and a lot of the outdoors scenes were shot in the Bavarian Alps. So that's something to keep your interest up. Alas, it is not enough to make this worthwhile.


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