The Little Princess

The 1939 American film based on the novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Sarah (Shirley Temple) and her father Capt. Reginald Crewe (Ian Hunter) have just returned from India and he is immediately petitioned to join the British Army to fight in the Boer War in South Africa. She has no mother and has to be placed in a boarding school. But with his ample money, Sarah gets royal treatment at the school. Soon the war ends and people start returning to their homeland but not Capt Crewe who is reported as dead in the battle. The school headmistress immediately turns turtle and starts treating Sarah roughly asking her to sleep in the attic and do the school chores. But Sarah thinks her father is still alive and constantly runs out of school to look for her father in the hospitals. In the meanwhile there is a love interest between one of the school teacher Rose (Anita Louise) and Geoffrey Hamilton (Richard Greene). Ample dollops of Brit humour laced with some anguish, solid production for a 1939 movie, nice clean direction by Walter Lang. Sarah’s friendship with another child star Sybil Jason (Becky in the movie) is endearing. There is a Sardar Ram Dass in the movie played by Cesar Romero who looks like a Sardar, thankfully. Overall good movie to watch with the children.

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