Pepper (1936)

  |  Comedy

Pepper (1936) Poster

Young Pepper Jolly enters the life of sour old millionaire John Wilkes. She convinces him to take her gang to Coney Island and prevents his daughter from marrying a phony aristocrat.


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29 January 2019 | kidboots
| More Hijinks But Less Singing and Dancing!!
When other studios were on the look out for their own answer to Shirley Temple, Fox not only had the original but another little girl who was Shirley's equal in talent and personality - Jane Withers. She also had a complete naturalness and winningness, the type of kid that children attending the cinema could imagine hanging around with and sharing in their games. While Shirley was angelic with golden curls, Jane sported a black bob (and in "Bright Eyes") wanted a machine gun for Christmas.

"Pepper" was Jane's most popular film of 1936 and it also starred Irwin S. Cobb (who praised Jane highly) as a philanthropist who became interested in Pepper, leader of a gang of street kids. Pepper's gang are into philanthropy themselves but they hit a brick wall when collecting over-due rent for an evicted family. When Pepper sees the home of John Wilkes she declares she wants to be in "the big dough class" and "no more nickel and dime stuff for us"!!! After a meet and greet which includes an "unloaded" gun and some forgotten ammunition, Wilkes confesses he's been told he's a dying man but after a day at a riotous fun fair, he recaptures his spirit to enjoy life.

Meanwhile his daughter has become enarmoured of a foreign count but keeps encountering an increasingly irritated traffic cop (a very young Dean Jagger). There's more broad comedy in this one - not so much singing and dancing or dramatics and it wasn't a particular favourite with me, although any movie with Jane is very welcome. This one also features Slim Summerville and a standout scene featured Cobb, Summerville and Jane in a spirited cowboy lament - with lots of verses!!

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