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Little Pioneer (1937)

5.4
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In 1880 South Africa, young Betsy has an adventure involving Zulu Tribesmen, Dutch Settlers, The Vortrekkers, and her older brother's romance of Katie Snee.

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Title: Little Pioneer (1937)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Sybil Jason ...
Betsy Manning
...
Katie Snee
...
Arthur Manning
Frederick Vogeding ...
Peter Snee, Katie's Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bodil Rosing ...
Mama Snee, Katie's Mother
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Storyline

It's 1880 in Natal, South Africa. Brit Arthur Manning and Dutch Katie Snee are hiding the fact of their relationship from her father, who would disapprove because of the Transvaal War where the Dutch and British are battling over British colonization of the area, especially as Arthur's father is an officer fighting in the war. As Arthur travels ahead to their neighboring farm, he leaves his adolescent sister, Betsy, with the Snees for a few days. During that time, the Snees and Betsy learn that Betsy's father was killed in battle moving toward them. Because of the impending fighting in their area, the Snees and Betsy, along with other Dutch settlers, pack up and move toward safer territory. When the British, including Arthur, catch up with the traveling Dutchmen, Katie and Betsy get caught in the middle of the larger war happening around them, not only between the British and the Dutch, but both against the marauding Zulus. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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africa | See All (1) »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1936-1937 season): Little Pioneer  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reels #8157-8158 See more »

Soundtracks

Into the Dark, Unknown African Night
(uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Played during the opening credits
Performed by Carlyle Moore Jr. at the beginning
Played and sung often throughout the picture
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stupid...but colorful.
13 September 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's a shame that so few Hollywood films have been done about South Africa--and almost none about the early years of this country. In light of this, it's even sadder that one of the few is this limp little film. Aside from being filmed in glorious Technicolor or a chance to see Jane Wyman in a very early appearance, there really isn't much to make this worth watching.

The story is set in the Natal (now part of South Africa) and the characters are mostly Boers--that is, Dutch settlers. It appears to be set during the first Boer War (1880-1881) due to their costumes. Regardless, some of the characters are fighting the British and it's a rare Hollywood film to not take the side of the Brits. I could try to explain the plot but won't--suffice to say it's a lot like an American western but with black people instead of Indians as the baddies. In addition, there's LOTS of singing and limp acting--none of which manage to make this interesting period of history the least bit interesting. To make it worse, EVERYTHING works out perfectly in the end--every single tiny plot thread!! Rather dumb and probably only of interest if you want to laugh at the acting.


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