6.9/10
212
10 user 2 critic

Bad Little Angel (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 27 October 1939 (USA)
A Bible-guided Victorian orphan befriends a bootblack in a strange town.

Director:

Wilhelm Thiele (as William Thiele)

Writers:

Margaret Turnbull (story "Looking After Sandy"), Dorothy Yost (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia Weidler ... Patricia Victoria 'Patsy' Sanderson
Gene Reynolds ... Thomas 'Tommy' Wilks
Guy Kibbee ... Luther Marvin
Ian Hunter ... Jm Creighton - Sentinel Editor
Elizabeth Patterson ... Mrs. Perkins
Reginald Owen ... Edwards - Marvin's Valet
Henry Hull ... Red Wilks
Lois Wilson ... Mrs. Ellen Creighton
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barbara Bedford ... Mrs. Dodd (scenes deleted)
Cora Sue Collins ... Clarabella Dodd (scenes deleted)
Sally Martin Sally Martin ... Belinda (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A Bible-guided Victorian orphan befriends a bootblack in a strange town.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Looking After Sandy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film received its initial television broadcast in Los Angeles Tuesday 14 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Honolulu 31 May 1957 on WHVH (Channel 13), by Chicago 6 June 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Altoona PA 11 June 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Seattle 3 July 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by Portland OR 15 July 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), by Miami 16 August 1957 on WCKT (Channel 7), by Philadelphia 25 August 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Memphis 28 August 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13), by Salt Lake City 8 October 1957 on KTVT (Channel 4), and by Norfolk VA 22 October 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3); its earliest documented telecast in San Francisco took place 31 December 1959 on KGO (Channel 7) and in New York City 10 September 1961 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(1862)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Played as background music several times
See more »

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User Reviews

Weidler Carries The Show
14 June 2017 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

As an atheist, ordinarily I'd steer clear of religiously themed shows. Too often they're sanctimoniously smug with their Christian message. On the whole, however, this little MGM programmer manages to avoid most of the pitfalls, and I watched all the way through.

Shrewdly, the religious theme is carried by the charming little Patsy. As the little girl, 11-year old Weidler is anything but sanctimonious in her reliance on the Bible as a guide for her future. An orphan, Patsy is hoping for a home after running away from a cruel orphanage. Due to the late Mrs. Perkins' influence, the orphan uses Biblical passages chosen at random as God's wisdom in guiding her. The book's a substitute parent, as it were. At the same time, however, she thinks herself a jinx because she seems to leave misfortune in her wake, as when kindly Mr. Creighton is seriously injured, which Patsy blames on her jinx. Which of these influences will prevail amounts to the plot's crux.

It's not surprising that an 11-year old orphan, now footloose, would hunger for emotional backup that a source like the Bible could provide. Thus, I didn't object to the Bible's use in that regard. Of course, that the passages would be so wisely relevant when picked at random is pure Hollywood contrivance. Nonetheless, the unheralded Weidler carries the film in winning style.

All in all, the movie's fairly heart-warming without being sappy. Plus, the special effects from the factory fire are worthy of an A-production. For a non-believer like me, the 70-minutes works pretty well as a human interest story, whatever else might be gleaned.

(In passing—Catch Patsy's pig-tails, a popular hair style among little girls of the time, which gave mischievous little boys like me a chance to pull on them! But only if we liked the girl. For sure, I would have tugged on Patsy's.)


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