7.3/10
4,947
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

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL

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
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
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
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
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
Comedy | Family | Musical
    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
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
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
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Dorothy Dell, Charles Bickford
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 reason Shirley Temple hadn't made a movie in Technicolor until this one was that the Technicolor company insisted that 1,000 foot-candle lights be used to get proper exposure on its film. These incredibly bright lights produced so much heat that the studio thought a child Temple's age would be hurt working under such conditions. So, with the cooperation of the Technicolor company, cinematographer Arthur C. Miller worked on a series of tests using lower levels of light, and finally discovered that 400 to 500 foot-candle lights would produce a satisfactory Technicolor image without generating the kind of heat that could injure Temple and the other children in the cast. Technicolor used a new high-speed film for this picture's trailer. This new film went on to be used for Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »

Goofs

In opening scene, the father is referred to as "Captain" which is correct because the movie takes place in 1899. After 1902 until the present (2018), the rank on his shoulder is that of first lieutenant based on the two pips he wears. A captain's rank is three pips. 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sprockets: Hollywood Babes (1991) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Shirley Temple At Her Best!
7 May 2004 | by WinBBunnySee all my reviews

"The Little Princess" is a reversal-of-fortune movie, so to speak. Sarah Crewe (Shirley Temple) is the daughter of a wealthy soldier sent off to the Boer War in 1899. Having no relatives, Sarah is placed in an exclusive girls school until her father returns. When her father is reported dead and their fortune is wiped out, the friendly headmistress becomes not-so-friendly towards Sarah, who is made to work off her father's debt to the school. Sarah is convinced that her father is alive, though, and searches the area hospital for him, eventually finding him.

This movie serves as an excellent example of several things: movies like this just aren't made any more. Unfortunately, they can't be - people would say it was too corny. In the movie, Shirley portrays a child not only with unshakable hope but patience, manners, politeness and kindness in the face of terrible adversity, with only a couple of cracks in her steadfastness. She meets Queen Victoria. Who would believe that a child under the duress that she suffers could be so gracious? Who would believe that, being a pauper, she could meet the Queen of England? Today's movie child star would have filled the air with sassiness and expletives under the same situation. But Shirley/Sarah doesn't, and that's a reason that I really like this movie - it shows someone who tries to make the best of a bad situation, and never gives up hope.

I also believe that the movie is an accurate portrayal of the life and times of the turn of the century, as it was made only 40 years after the Boer War. I think that Victorian England was captured well in this movie; after all, we do a pretty good job of displaying the 1960s on film these days.

Overall, though, it is Shirley Temple at her singing/dancing/acting best in this movie, and she does a wonderful job from start to finish.


18 of 22 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 Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed