The Little Princess
is a 1939
American drama film
directed by Walter Lang
. The screenplay by Ethel Hill and Walter Ferris is based on the 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 at 20th Century Fox
, and remains one of her most well-known films.
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 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 was given a happier ending than the book.
At the start of the film, Captain Crewe arrives at Miss Minchin's School for Girls with his daughter, Sara. After initial reluctance, Miss Minchin admits his daughter to the school. When the other girls see her she is declared a "princess" to the annoyance of Lavinia, the eldest and, prior to Sara's arrival, most valued pupil.
Although scared for her father, Sara is distracted by her riding lessons. Miss Minchin shows her true colors when we learn she is hostile to the riding master being in love with one of teachers, Miss Rose, whom she raised from a foundling. Sara helps them set up a meeting before he goes to the front, promising to help find her... Read More