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.
C. Aubrey Smith
Shirley is the orphaned survivor of an Indian attack in the Canadian West. A Mountie and his girlfriend take her in. Everybody suffers further Indian attacks and the Mountie is saved from ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter,
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
Lately, I have watched a bunch of Shirley Temple movies. I used to think they were all very schmaltzy, but this isn't always the case. Plus, since she was such a lovable and adorable child, even a bit of schmaltz manages to work. Of the dozen or so Temple films I've seen in the last month, I would place "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" among the very best. And, after over 70 years, it's still very enjoyable.
This film begins with Rebecca being shuttled about by her no-good uncle (William Demarest) from one audition to another. At the final audition, Rebecca wows the producer (Randolph Scott) and sponsor but the dumb assistant (Jack Haley) tells the girl that she was rejected when she really wasn't. At the end of their ropes, the uncle dumps the child on her aunt--an old grouch living at Sunnybrook Farm. The aunt is happy to take the child and Rebecca soon endears herself to everyone (big surprise). In a coincidence you'll only see in movies, her new neighbor happens to be the producer--who has been frantically searching for the child for his show. But, when he eventually discovers who she is, the aunt is not about to let the girl 'ruin her life by going into show business'! What's next? See the film.
While the film has almost nothing to do with the novel "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm", it manages to work very, very well. Much of it is the writing--the script has a nice sense of humor and is better written than normal. In addition, a wonderful supporting cast helps by not placing all the film on the shoulders of little Shirley. In addition to Haley, Demarest and Scott, Gloria Stuart, Slim Summerville and Bill Robinson round out the cast. Overall, a treat--a Shirley Temple film that manages to make you smile and keeps the saccharine level in check. Well worth your time. Plus, it made my wife laugh and smile throughout--a positive statement indeed as she's even more cynical than me when it comes to films.
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