7.3/10
4,849
46 user 14 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, due to her father having to go to South Africa to fight in the Second Boer War.

Directors:

Walter Lang, William A. Seiter (uncredited)

Writers:

Ethel Hill (screen play), Walter Ferris (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Heidi (1937)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A plucky little orphan girl gets dumped abruptly into her gruff, hermit grandfather's care, then later gets retaken and delivered as a companion for an injured girl.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Shirley Temple, Jean Hersholt, Arthur Treacher
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Rebecca's Uncle Harry leaves her with Aunt Miranda who forbids her to associate with show people. But neighbor Anthony Kent is a talent scout who secretly set it up for her to broadcast.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Shirley Temple, Randolph Scott, Jack Haley
Comedy | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler
Stars: Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, Evelyn Venable
Comedy | Musical | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A little girl named Star lives with a lighthouse keeper who rescued her when her parents drowned. A truant officer decides she should go to boarding school but she's rescued by relatives.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Shirley Temple, Guy Kibbee, Slim Summerville
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Shirley Temple's father, a rebel officer, sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family and is arrested. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape. Everyone is captured and the ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler
Stars: Shirley Temple, John Boles, Jack Holt
Curly Top (1935)
Family | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Wealthy Edward Morgan becomes charmed with a curly-haired orphan and her pretty older sister Mary and arranges to adopt both under the alias of "Mr. Jones." As he spends more time with them, he soon finds himself falling in love with Mary.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Shirley Temple, John Boles, Rochelle Hudson
Dimples (1936)
Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dimples Appleby lives with the pick-pocket grandfather in 19th century New York City. She entertains the crowds while he works his racket. A rich lady makes it possible for the girl to go legit. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is performed.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Shirley Temple, Frank Morgan, Robert Kent
Bright Eyes (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An orphaned girl is taken in by a snobbish family at the insistence of their rich, crotchety uncle, even as her devoted aviator godfather fights for custody.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Shirley Temple, James Dunn, Jane Darwell
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a wealthy businessman becomes lost in the city while traveling to a new school, and is taken in by a pair of down-on-their-luck performers.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Shirley Temple, Alice Faye, Gloria Stuart
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Shirley Temple, Victor McLaglen, C. Aubrey Smith
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Eddie Ellison is an ex-con who spent time in Sing-Sing prison. Kay marries him as soon as he serves his time. Five years later, Eddie and his ex-convict buddy Larry, have both gone straight... See full summary »

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Shirley Temple, James Dunn, Claire Trevor
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young girl is relegated to servitude at a boarding school when her father goes missing and is presumed dead.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham
Edit

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 Ira Stevens ... Ermengarde
E.E. Clive ... Mr. Barrows
Eily Malyon ... Cook
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

17 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Princess See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original source of the movie was a novel called "Sara Crewe; or, What Happened at Miss Minchin's" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and it was published in 1888. She later adapted her book for the stage, calling it "A Little Princess" (in London, 1902) and "The Little Princess" (in New York, 1903). It was successful enough that her publisher, C. Scribner's Sons, requested that she expand her original novel to include scenes from the play. The result was the final novel, "A Little Princess; Being the Whole Story of Sara Crewe," which was published in 1905, and is the secondary source for the movie. 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

Featured in Troldspejlet: Barnestjerner (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Grenadiers
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One More Triumph For Our Shirley
28 April 2002 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A small child, affectionately known as THE LITTLE PRINCESS, must endure great hardship after her father is killed in the Boer War.

Shirley Temple had her last great box-office triumph in this splendid Technicolor adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett childhood classic. No longer a tiny tot - she turned eleven the year THE LITTLE PRINCESS was released - but still a little trooper, Shirley exhibits once again the tremendous charm & talent which made her Hollywood's top box office draw. With wrinkled brow & tremulous lip or bouncing curls & joyous smile, she adeptly displays just the right mood or mannerism to keep the focus of the audience's attention firmly grasped in her chubby fists.

The supporting players' roster is abundantly well cast: stalwart Ian Hunter appears as Shirley's soldier father - this very fine actor wisely uses his acting skills to keep from being completely upstaged by the mighty moppet; handsome Richard Greene & lovely Anita Louise play the riding master & teacher who befriend Shirley - their roles aren't terribly significant, but they fill them quite well.

Mary Nash is once again cast as Shirley's tormentor, this time playing the evil-spirited headmistress of an exclusive girls' seminary. This accomplished actress did not appear in many films, but she could generally be counted on to provide a vivid performance - notice the relish with which she essays her small part in the medieval fantasy sequence (`I know my rights, I know the law and what I say I saw, I saw!'). Long-legged, adenoidal Arthur Treacher plays her henpecked brother; he is a delight during his two romps with Shirley to the music hall ditty ‘Knocked ‘Em In The Old Kent Road.'

Cesar Romero quietly portrays an Indian servant in a small, but important, role; Miles Mander & E. E. Clive both appear as hardhearted, crusty old gentlemen - only one is regenerated by film's end. Sweet Beryl Mercer makes the most of her few moments as a stately, kindhearted Queen Victoria - while Eily Malyon is a true fright as the school's slatternly cook. Marcia Mae Jones participates in one of the film's most memorable moments, when, as a particularly vile teenager, she receives a face full of fireplace ashes, courtesy of sweet Shirley.

Special attention should be given to ten-year-old South African Sybil Jason, who plays the wistful waifish charmaid who idolizes Shirley. In her American film debut, Warner's LITTLE BIG SHOT (1935), she proved wonderfully winsome & winning, but the storm of attention surrounding Miss Temple (exactly 19 months older than Miss Jason) tends, at this remove, to swamp the boats of the other female child stars of the period. However, delightful Sybil deserves to be remembered & appreciated for her own accomplishments.

The Stolen Kiss, a lavish fantasy dream sequence, provides a welcome few minutes change of pace for Temple, Nash, Louise, Greene, Treacher & Romero.


22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed