7.2/10
5,733
49 user 16 critic

The Little Princess (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 17 March 1939 (USA)
A little girl is left by her father in an exclusive seminary for girls, when her father fights in the Second Boer War. Later, when he is presumed dead she is forced to become a servant.

Directors:

Walter Lang, William A. Seiter (uncredited)

Writers:

Ethel Hill (screen play), Walter Ferris (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley Temple ... Sara Crewe
Richard Greene ... Geoffrey Hamilton
Anita Louise ... Rose
Ian Hunter ... Capt. Crewe
Cesar Romero ... Ram Dass
Arthur Treacher ... Bertie Minchin
Mary Nash ... Amanda Minchin
Sybil Jason ... Becky
Miles Mander ... Lord Wickham
Marcia Mae Jones ... Lavinia
Beryl Mercer ... Queen Victoria
Deidre Gale Deidre Gale ... Jessie
Ira Stevens ... Ermengarde
E.E. Clive ... Mr. Barrows
Eily Malyon ... Cook
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Storyline

When her father, Captain Crewe, goes off to fight in the Boer War, young Sara Crewe is placed into the care of Amanda Minchin, the head of an exclusive private school for girls. Sara lives a wonderful life of a privileged child and is quite happy in her surroundings. When her father is listed as missing in action however, her life goes from one of plenty to that of a poor house maid. Mrs. Minchin agrees to keep her on at the school, but in the absence of her tuition payments, she has to work for her keep. She is soon cleaning out the fireplace and scrubbing floors and is dubbed the little princess by her former schoolmates. She also refuses to accept that her father is dead and prowls the hospitals in the hope of locating him. Luck - and Royal intervention - assist her in her quest. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A great classic comes to life in glorious Technicolor!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shirley Temple's first all-Technicolor film. See more »

Goofs

There are many references in the film to receiving "mail" and "mailing" letters. The British terminology is always receiving "post" and "posting" letters. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sara Crewe: Why are they sending so many soldiers, daddy, if it's only going to be a little war?
Captain Crewe: To make those stubborn Boers take us seriously this time, my darling. When they realize Her Majesty intends to put a stop to their nonsense, they'll quiet down.
Sara Crewe: They'd better. Anyhow, when you get there, you'll stop them. Won't you, daddy?
Captain Crewe: I'll do my best, dear.
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Connections

Referenced in Churchill: The Hollywood Years (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Grenadiers
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played often in the score
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User Reviews

 
Delightful and lively rendition about a vintage story with a miraculous Shirley Temple
10 March 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This agreeable movie is based on the Francis Burnett children's classic novel. 1899, London, irrepressible Sara(Shirley Temple) is a little girl in Victorian epoch sent to boarding school ruled by a harsh,hateful headmistress named Mischin(Mary Nash) while her widowed father(Ian Hunter) is posted in South African -Transvaal- during the Anglo-Boer war. Her daddy is declared missing but is reported killed in action and the penniless schoolgirl must work as a servant to pay her existence. Kindhearted Sara befriends a young enamored couple(Anita Louise, Richard Greene)who help her. Then Sara in search for her dad, haunting hospitals where she encounters Queen Victoria.

Impactful adaptation has Temple as likable child playing, dancing, and singing. Lively screenplay, vivid performances, dazzling scenarios originate classic in film-making. Colorful cinematography in Technicolor by William Skall and Arthur Miller. The picture is brilliant and skilfully directed by Walter Lang, a musical cinema and comedy genre expert. This is Shirley Temple's biggest success(it cost a big budget, over 1,5 million dollars) and also her fist colour, another Shirley's hits are:¨Poor little girl,The little rebel,The little colonel and Little Miss Marker¨among others. It's remade by a TV version(1987) by Carol Wiseman with Amelia Shankley and Nigel Havers and a superior version by Alfonso Cuaron with Sara incarnation from Liesel Mattews(Shirley Temple lookalike role),Eleanor Brown(eagle-eyed Mary Nash role)and Lian Cunningham(Ian Hunter lookalike). This is a masterpiece of kids' classic cinema and you will soon be caught up in its sympathetic and enjoyable world.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

17 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Princess See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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