The Little Princess

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The Little Princess
Directed by Walter Lang
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Gene Markey
Screenplay by Ethel Hill
Walter Ferris
Starring Shirley Temple
Richard Greene
Anita Louise
Ian Hunter
Arthur Treacher
Music by Charles Maxwell
Cyril J. Mockridge
Herbert W. Spencer
Samuel Pokrass
Cinematography Arthur C. Miller
William Skall
Editing by Louis Loeffler
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) March 10, 1939 (1939-03-10)
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget over $1 million[1]

The Little Princess is a 1939 movie. It was directed by Walter Lang. It stars Shirley Temple. It is loosely based on the book A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was the first Shirley Temple movie to be filmed completely in Technicolor.[2] It was also her last major success as a child star.[3]

Main cast[change | change source]

Story[change | change source]

Captain Crewe is called to fight in the Second Boer War. He leaves his daughter Sara at Miss Minchin's School for Girls. One day, his lawyer arrives in the school with news that Captain Crewe has died and his real estate has been confiscated. Sara is now a poor orphan. She becomes a servant in the school. Sara tires of her servant duties. She sneaks off to Veterans Hospital, convinced her father is not dead. She finds him wounded. They reunite joyfully.

Response[change | change source]

According to Variety, "Transposition of the Frances Hodgson Burnett several-generation favorite, Sara Crewe, is accomplished most successfully. The fairy-tale story is still saccharine to the nth degree, but once the basic premise is established, it rolls along acceptably. And, while the story has been changed for screen purposes, the general line is close enough."[2]

Benjamin R. Crisler reviewed the film when it opened in New York City at the Roxy Theatre. He wrote, "With any other child on earth, it is amazing to reflect, The Little Princess would stand out as one of the most glaring exhibits of pure hokum in screen history; with Mistress Temple, it may very well be, as Mr. Zanuck unflinchingly proclaims, the greatest picture with which Mr. Zanuck has ever been associated."[4]

Janet Maslin, writing for The New York Times 44 years later, called it "antiquated enough to seem charming" and concludes "[t]he movie's music, its corny but likable histrionics and its rousing patriotism (it was made in 1939) culminate in a happy ending sure to make even grown-up viewers cry."[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Up Budgets In Quality Film Drive, The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] 03 Jan 1939: 14
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Little Princess". Variety. 1939. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117792650/. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  3. Landazuri, Margarita. "The Little Princess". Turner Classic Movies. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/3959/The-Little-Princess/articles.html. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  4. Crisler, Benjamin R. (March 11, 1939). "James Cagney Rides the Plains in Oklahoma Kid at the Strand — Shirley Temple Film at the Roxy". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9904E4D71E3FE23ABC4952DFB5668382629EDE. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  5. Maslin, Janet (November 13, 1983). "The Little Princess". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1983/11/13/arts/the-little-princess.html. Retrieved 2012-07-30.

Other websites[change | change source]