Priscilla Williams, a young girl living with her widowed mother and paternal grandfather at the post he commands in northern India, becomes enamored of military life and embroiled in brewing rebellion against the crown in the early 1900's.
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William A. Seiter,
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Priscilla Williams is a young girl traveling with her mother, Joyce, to join her paternal grandfather, a British army colonel, at the post he commands in northern India. Upon arrival, they witness the capture of Khoda Khan, leader of the rebel Indian faction. Priscilla plays at being a soldier and is even given a uniform and allowed to drill by the genial Sergeant MacDuff, but her gruff grandfather disapproves and insists she remain apart from the troops. She eventually charms him, along with everyone else on the post, including Khoda Khan, whom she wins over by returning a talisman he's dropped. When the attractive Lieutenant Brandes deserts his post to take Joyce to a dance, Khan escapes, and Brandes is arrested. As hostilities with the rebels mount, Priscilla and servant Mohammet Dihn --actually an Indian spy--take off for Khoda Khan's stronghold.Written by
Shirley Temple and mother are traveling to India to see grandfather in this John Ford movie based on a Rudyard Kipling tale. In fact, in most of the Shirley Temple movies, she is the main focus of the film. Here, she is one of many, due to the exceptional talent that went into the making of this film. There's director John Ford's touch that usually makes gold. There's Victor McLaglen, one of John Ford's more frequent actors. There's the colorful and versatile Cesar Romero as a supposed villain here, who also costarred in "The Little Princess." And lastly, there's the locale of India, which seems to be the real star of this film. The mood, the shadows, the direction of Ford all tell a story besides the actual plot and dialogue. McLaglen is a stern officer, but then he meets and befriends Shirley. And, Shirley get embroiled into the war between the natives and the officers, when they think she has been kidnapped. The end result may be somewhat predictable, but the journey is a very different one than most Temple films. Although she is the title character, she just happened to be cast in this John Ford production. And, what a production! Along with "The Little Princess," this has to be one of the best films she ever made. I wanted to watch this over, once I finished it. A true testament to a great film!
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