15 November 2012 | Michael_Elliott
Yes It's Predictable but It's Just Too Cute and Charming
Five LIttle Peppers and How They Grew (1939)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
As this film opened it became clear within minutes that this here was Columbia's answer to the Andy Hardy series from MGM. The story focuses on a widowed mother and her five children who are growing up poor. It turns out that the dead husband had control of a mine, which is now worth a lot of money but the family doesn't realize it. Soon a rich man (Clarence Kolb) who knows the value wants to steal it from them but he begins to have a change of heart after getting to know the children. FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS AND HOW THEY GREW tries so painfully hard to be sweet and cute that at times you can't help but roll your eyes. However, just like the bitter old man in the movie, the kids and story eventually win you over and in the end this here really turned out to be a cute little movie. Yes, the story is predictable and there's some questionable acting and story lines but there's still no question that this movie was made to be sweet and not win awards. I was really surprised at how much I began to like this family and want to see them overcome all the odds that were stacked up against them. The oldest daughter Polly (Edith Fellows) was certainly a charmer and manages to really bring you into this family. I thought the other children were cute enough as well but I also really enjoyed the performance of Kolb and especially how he changed throughout the film. At just 58-minutes the film runs by super fast and I think fans of these family "B" movies should enjoy it.