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The Little Minister (1934)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 28 December 1934 (USA)
In rural 1840's Scotland, Gavin Dishart arrives to become the new "little minister" of Thrums's Auld Licht church. He meets a mysterious young gypsy girl in the dens and to his horror ... See full summary »


Richard Wallace


J.M. Barrie (by) (as Sir James M. Barrie), Jane Murfin (screen play) | 4 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Katharine Hepburn ... Babbie
John Beal ... Gavin
Alan Hale ... Rob Dow
Donald Crisp ... Doctor McQueen
Lumsden Hare ... Tammas Whammond
Andy Clyde ... Wearyworld The Policeman
Beryl Mercer ... Margaret
Billy Watson Billy Watson ... Micah
Dorothy Stickney ... Jean
Mary Gordon ... Nanny
Frank Conroy ... Lord Rintoul
Eily Malyon ... Evalina
Reginald Denny ... Captain Halliwell
Leonard Carey ... Hendry Munn
Herbert Bunston ... Mr. Carfrae
Learn more

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In rural 1840's Scotland, Gavin Dishart arrives to become the new "little minister" of Thrums's Auld Licht church. He meets a mysterious young gypsy girl in the dens and to his horror Babbie draws him into her escape from the soldiers after she incites a Luddite riot. But unknown to Gavin, Babbie is more than she seems. And they must overcome her secret, the villagers' fears of her, and worst of all, Gavin's devotion to his mother's sensibilities, before they can openly declare their love. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Babble, the whole world's gypsy sweetheart, lives again to fire the blood of man, woman and child! (Print Ad- San Jose News, ((San Jose, Calif.)) 27 March 1935) See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Byron Foulger. See more »


Version of The Little Minister (1915) See more »


Comin' Thro' the Rye
Traditional Scottish music
In the score during the first scene
See more »

User Reviews

Sweet film adaptation of Barrie's 1891 novel
3 November 2002 | by overseer-3See all my reviews

This was the last film version made of this delightful story based on James Matthew Barrie's first major successful novel and play, and it is long overdue for a modern remake, done with similar charm, beauty, and simplicity, please.

Here we find a timeless tale of a fresh-faced, youthful pastor boy, direct out of seminary, who loves his mother and has affection for his congregation, but who finds himself flaunting convention by falling in love against his will with a wild, beautiful gypsy girl. You could no more imagine this girl sitting quietly in a church praying than you could imagine Ted Kennedy becoming a Republican.

Gavin the minister, though he is "little" in physical size, is not small in courage or intellectual honesty. He knows he is falling in love with this girl, but can't seem to help himself. He fights his feelings, but still he is attracted, like a moth to a flame. She tricks him and teases him in their first encounters, yet he still comes back for more. There's just something different about this Babbie that he cannot resist (and one senses the gypsy girl feels the same way about Gavin). We see their relationship growing, the congregation begins to suspect something is distracting their beloved new minister from his duties, and an inevitable confrontation is in the works.

I won't give away any more, but go rent the video sometime or catch it on AMC or TCM, especially if you wish to see Katherine Hepburn in one of her most poignant, humorous and delightful performances (she even sings, too!). Kudos also to the late John Beal, who was perfectly cast as Gavin Dishart, the little minister. And an A-plus goes to Max Steiner for his lovely background musical score. Also, read the book by JMB when you get a chance; one can't put it down.

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Release Date:

28 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Minister See more »


Box Office


$650,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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