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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, due to her father having to go to South Africa to fight in the Second Boer War.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sara Crewe
... Geoffrey Hamilton
... Rose
... Capt. Crewe
... Ram Dass
... Bertie Minchin
... Amanda Minchin
... Becky
... Lord Wickham
... Lavinia
... Queen Victoria
Deidre Gale ... Jessie
Ira Stevens ... Ermengarde
... Mr. Barrows
... 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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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Little Princess  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In wanting to fit in with the film's crew, Shirley Temple requested her own time card to punch in and out of work. Director Lang gave in and she was issued her own card and used the studio's time recorder. When IBM heard of this they sent her a custom-made machine embossed with her name and special cards with her picture. Temple ignored these and continued to use her studio-issued cards. See more »

Goofs

On the letter Sara receives from her father, it has her name spelled with an "H" at the end ("Sarah"), but on her birthday cake her name is without the "H" ("Sara"). 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 Reginald 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 Reginald Crewe: I'll do my best, dear.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Principessina (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

The Fantasy
(uncredited)
Music by Samuel Pokrass
Words by Walter Bullock
Performed by Shirley Temple, Arthur Treacher, Mary Nash,
Cesar Romero, Anita Louise, Richard Greene, and unidentified extras.
Danced by Temple with unidentified ballerinas
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Delightful and lively rendition about a vintage story with a miraculous Shirley Temple
10 March 2009 | by See 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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