The Little Colonel (1935)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Family, Musical

The Little Colonel (1935) Poster

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 »

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  • Lionel Barrymore in The Little Colonel (1935)
  • Shirley Temple and Evelyn Venable in The Little Colonel (1935)
  • Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel (1935)
  • Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel (1935)
  • Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, and Bill Robinson in The Little Colonel (1935)
  • Shirley Temple and Lionel Barrymore in The Little Colonel (1935)

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15 May 2013 | MartinHafer
| Among Shirley's very best.
The film begins just after the US Civil War. The Colonel (Lionel Barrymore) hates Yankees and is shocked when his daughter announces she's marrying one. In fact, he disowns her and she leaves. Time passes and now after several years, the daughter returns to her hometown with her adorable child, Lloyd (Temple). As for the husband, he's a businessman and is expected to soon join them.

For some time, the daughter and father ignore each other--both too proud to bend. However, Lloyd isn't afraid to talk to her grandpa when she sees him. In fact, she's VERY spunky and a bit bratty. So, when he talks down to her, she gives him what for and throws mud on him! Later, she returns and apologizes...and the pair begins a friendship. Over time, Lloyd's sweetness is able to mend fences and create a happy ending. But before this, she has to help her family, as some evil swindlers have taken her father captive! Oh my!

The interplay between Temple and Barrymore is great. Partly this is due to their both begin fantastic actors. Partly it helps because in this film, Shirley does not play all sweetness but is also delightfully bratty and strong-willed. She also is MAGNIFICENT in the scenes where she dances with Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson--the best of their several movies together. All in all, a completely delightful film--one of Shirley's very best. And, at the end there is a VERY garishly colored segment--very vivid--actually TOO vivid!

By the way, although you don't hear her sing much in films, Hattie McDaniel was also a professional singer and you get to hear a bit of her lovely voice as she BRIEFLY sings a song. Also, although black characters fare much better in this film than in other Shirley Temple films of the era, some might blanch at the fact that all the black people are VERY happy living in the segregated post Civil War South.

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