6.1/10
175
10 user 3 critic

The Beloved Brat (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 30 April 1938 (USA)
Drama about a problem child and her problem parents.

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Lawrence Kimble (screen play), Jean Negulesco (from an original story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bonita Granville ... Roberta Morgan
Dolores Costello ... Helen Cosgrove
Donald Crisp ... John Morgan
Natalie Moorhead ... Evelyn Morgan
Lucile Gleason ... Miss Brewster (as Lucille Gleason)
Donald Briggs ... Jerome Williams
Emmett Vogan Emmett Vogan ... Jenkins
Loia Cheaney Loia Cheaney ... Mrs. Jenkins
Leo Gorcey ... Spike Matz
Ellen Lowe Ellen Lowe ... Anna
Mary Doyle Mary Doyle ... Miss Mitchell
Paul Everton ... Judge Henry Harris
Bernice Pilot Bernice Pilot ... Mrs. White
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ... Pinkie White (as Stymie Beard)
Meredith White Meredith White ... Arabella White
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Storyline

Roberta Morgan is being raised in a wealthy-home where her mother is occupied with her society-club activities and her father is immersed in his business activities. She also feels that the hired help and her governess are against her, and, in her mind, only her father's confidential secretary-assistant seems to understand her needs and problems. Her incorrigibility leads to her being placed in a boarding school for problem girls. There, the secretary and the head of the school work a plan to win her over by giving her responsibilities for helping the younger girls in the school. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BELOVED - SHE'S A DARLING YOU WANT TO HUG TO YOUR HEART! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Too Much of Everything See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $50 Roberta receives from her father as a birthday present would equate to over $900 in 2019. See more »

Goofs

In two consecutive scenes between Donald Briggs and Dolores Costello, one interior and then exterior, first the shadow of the mike and then the mike and boom can be seen. See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly Gritty
4 January 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Warner Bros. was known for gritty gangster pictures. Here, of all things, they've fashioned a gritty adolescent girl film, with a lot more boldness than I ever expected. More than a brat, Roberta's a little hellion, flinging food trays and emotional tizzies at the slightest provocation. We understand her problems come from an unloving wealthy household where she and the butler (Vogan) go ten-rounds without a referee.

But consider the darker side. She is, after all, partially responsible for the death of an innocent motorist, when she grabs the car wheel from butler Jenkins. The probation school reckoning for that strikes me as pretty mild. Nor, rather surprisingly, does the screenplay supply a moral reckoning. Also unexpected is the casualness with which Roberta crosses the colorline with Pinkie (Beard) and his Negro family. But then, she probably identifies more with them than with her distant mother and father. And I agree with another reviewer that there seems some innuendo from the handsome Williams toward the budding young woman.

All of this strikes me as unusual for a Production Code programmer. But then writer Negulesco directed some of the better studio products of the 40's and 50's, including the soulful Deep Valley (1947) and the surprisingly sensitive Take Care of My Little Girl (1952). Then too, Granville turns in an absolutely bravura performance that rivets attention throughout. Quite a risk for a young actress to make herself so unlikable for so much of the movie. Anyhow, the last third lapses into something much more conventional, as might be expected for what remains a commercial product. Nonetheless, there's enough of the unconventional in both filming and writing to make this little obscurity worth catching up with.


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