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Little Pioneer (1937)

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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 34 users  
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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.



(original story and screenplay)
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Title: Little Pioneer (1937)

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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


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

Plot Keywords:

africa | See All (1) »





Release Date:

26 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #8157-8158 See more »


My Little One
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Performed by Sybil Jason
Also performed by Jane Wyman
See more »

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User Reviews

It's hard to praise anything but the early Warner Technicolor...
24 July 2010 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

An insufferably "cute" mixture of western (although the story is set in 1850s South Africa) and musical, featuring child star SYBIL JASON in her usual Shirley Temple type of role wherein she emerges the heroine who saves the day.

The only decent aspect of the whole featurette is the rich looking Technicolor and the gorgeous scenery.

Otherwise, forget it. The only other point of interest is seeing JANE WYMAN in a costume film (rather than a modern story or musical), with little to do but look concerned about her thwarted romance with a British soldier (CARLYLE MOORE, JR.), who looks an awful lot like a young Shepherd Strudwick.

There are a couple of songs, none of them memorable, and the whole thing winds up predictably with little Sybil saving the day. There are too many "icky" moments for comfort as the slight story unwinds.

Worthwhile for the astonishingly lovely Technicolor alone.

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