The Little Princess is a 1939 American drama film directed by Walter Lang. The screenplay by Ethel Hill and Walter Ferris is loosely based on the 1905 novel A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The film was the first Shirley Temple movie to be filmed completely in Technicolor. It was also her last major success as a child star.
Although it maintained the novel's Victorian London setting, the film introduced several new characters and storylines and used the Second Boer War and the Siege of Mafeking as a backdrop to the action. Temple and Arthur Treacher had a musical number together, performing the song "Knocked 'Em in the Old Kent Road". Temple also appeared in an extended ballet sequence. The film's ending was drastically different from the book.
In 1968, the film entered the public domain in the United States because the claimants did not renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.
Captain Crewe (played by Ian Hunter), called to fight in the Second Boer War, has to leave his daughter Sara (Shirley Temple) with her pony at Miss Minchin's School for Girls. With all the money Captain Crewe can offer, Miss Minchin gives Sara a fancy, private room.
Although worried about her father, Sara is distracted by riding lessons. It is during these riding lessons that Sara helps contrive meetings between Miss Rose (Anita Louise), her teacher, and Mr. Geoffrey (Richard Greene), the riding instructor, who is also the grandson of the mean-spirited next door neighbor, Lord Wickham (Miles Mander). Sara hears news that Mafeking is free and expects her father will soon come home. Miss Minchin throws Sara a lavish birthday party. During the party, Captain Crewe's solicitor (E. E. Clive) arrives with the sad news that Captain Crewe has died and his real estate, the basis for his wealth, has been confiscated. Miss Minchin ends Sara's party abruptly. Without her father's financial support, Sara becomes a servant, now working at the school she used to attend. Sara gains new solace in a friendship with Ram Dass (Cesar Romero) who lives next door. She also receives support from Miss Minchin's brother, Hubert, who does not agree with her treatment. Miss Rose and Mr. Geoffrey are found out and fired. Geoffrey joins the military.
More on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Princess_(1939_film)
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