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The Little Princess

The Little Princess

80% Liked It
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The Little Princess

Shirley Temple, Richard Greene, Anita Louise, Ian Hunter, Cesar Romero

Shirley Temple's first Technicolor feature, The Little Princess was inspired by the oft-filmed novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Set in turn-of-the-century England, the film finds Temple being enrolle... read more read more...d in a boarding school by her wealthy widowed father (Ian Hunter), who must head off to fight in the Boer War. At first, Temple is treated like royalty; her behavior couldn't be more down to earth, but this preferential treatment foments resentment. When her father is reported killed in the war, circumstances are severely altered. The spiteful headmistress (Mary Nash) relegates Temple to servant status and forces the girl to sleep in a drafty attic. She keeps her spirits up by hoping against hope that her father will return, and to that end she haunts the corridors of a nearby military hospital. Queen Victoria doesn't have to make a guest appearance in the tearfully joyous closing sequence, but it does serve as icing on the cake to this, one of Temple's most enjoyable feature films. Reliable Shirley Temple flick supporting actors Cesar Romero and Arthur Treacher are back in harness in The Little Princess, while adult leading lady Anita Louise figures prominently in a sugary dream sequence. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Id: 10903647

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Recent Reviews


  • September 20, 2010
    I read the book when I was a kid, and saw the remake, and this movie was pretty good too. It could have been better, though.
  • July 12, 2010
    Shirley Temple plays a rich girl in an exclusive boarding school, whose father is suddenly killed in the British War. She becomes a pauper and the hateful headmistress has her stripped of all privileges and forces her to work in the kitchen to earn her keep. Temple refuses to bel... read moreieve her father is dead and searches the hospitals for him where she encounters Queen Victoria.
  • November 2, 2008
    Cute Shirley Temple movie. The movie was adorable and loved the part when she dumped Ashes on the snotty rich girl! haha. ;) A favorite of mine back in the day.
  • June 2, 2008
    I think it's hard not to like the Little Princess story. It's sweet and heartfelt and i've never seen a bad version of it.
  • November 17, 2007
    One of my favorite Shirley Temple movies of all time.
  • August 23, 2012
    The 1939 adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's book by the same name is a cinema classic. Given, the movie doesn't go entirely by the book. But it still has more than enough charm to make it a favorite among families nearly three quarters of a century after it first debuted. ... read more

    While the big screen adaptation of the book doesn't go entirely by the book, the script and the acting more than make up for the fact that there are some differences between the book and the movie. Shirley Temple's take on Sara makes her character an entirely sympathetic character. While fellow actress Mary Nash makes Amanda Minchin an absolutely vile character that audiences will love to hate. That means that Nash more than did her job in the role. The cast's ability to interpret the story, along with directors William Lang and William A. Seiter makes the movie even better. The story is one of triumph over great adversity. Here we have a young girl who goes from being pampered to perpetually punished by the vile Miss Minchin when her father is believed to have been killed in the Boer War. Throughout all of the adversity, Sara is able to persevere and come out on top. She's a relatable character. Yes she starts out with money. But even with money, Sara was still a good hearted person. In being persecuted so harshly by Miss Minchin, audiences are reminded that similar persecution still goes on today around the world. It isn't at the same kind of level by any means. But it does happen. The average middle-class person is still looked down on by those in higher social classes just because they aren't rich. That alone is a big part of what makes this movie still so beloved to this day.

    The primary story in The Little Princess is one of overcoming great odds and defying those would try to hold others down just because of something as minor as not having money. But there is also a secondary story tied into the main one. That additional story centers on the power of family, friendship, and personal faith. Sara continued to maintain the faith that her father hadn't really been killed, which not to give too much away, proves true at least in this take on the classic tale. How that is revealed wonâ(TM)t be told here for the sake of those who haven't seen the movie. And if not for the friendship of Becky and Ermengarde, getting through her daily harassment from Miss Minchin would have been unbearable. It was that power of friendship that helped Sara to keep the faith and keep pushing through her seemingly insurmountable odds. By the story's end it would be a surprise if any audience is left dry-eyed. Yes, the final sequence is that saccharine. But it can be forgiven as audiences will be rooting for Sara throughout the movie.

    This take on the classic literary work is a wonderful family film. It serves as a reminder of everything that is still so great even today about classic movies. Some movies have been made in the same vein as the Little Princess. But none since have been able to capture the magic created by this adaptation. That magic will continue to keep it a family favorite for another seventy plus years as long as families remember and protect it and continue to pass it down to future generations.
  • August 19, 2012
    I seen this movie a few times before and no matter what version i always enjoyed it.Its a movie that kind of gets in your heart.More of a females movie.
  • December 17, 2009
    There is no actor I've disliked watching more than young Shirley Temple. Skip this lame star vehicle and rent Alfonso Cuarón's lovely 1995 adaptation of the same book, "A Little Princess", instead.
  • September 15, 2009
    This old tear jerker never looses it's power to make me laugh and cry! What a talented little girl she was, and what an actress she became.
  • September 13, 2009
    beautiful story about never giving up, always keeping Hope & the special bond between a loyal loving girl & her devoted single-parent father who disappears while off @ battle.

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