The Littlest Rebel
is a 1935
American dramatic film
directed by David Butler. The screenplay by Edwin J. Burke was adapted from a play of the same name by Edward Peple and focuses on the tribulations of a plantation-owning family during the American Civil War
. The film stars John Boles, Karen Morley, and Shirley Temple as the plantation family and Bill Robinson as their slave with Jack Holt as a Union officer.
The film was well received, and, in tandem with the Temple vehicle Curly Top
, was listed as one of the top box office draws of 1935 by Variety
. The film was the second of four cinematic pairings of Temple and Robinson. In 2009, the film was available on videocassette and DVD in both black-and-white and computer-colorized versions.
The film opens in the ballroom of the Cary plantation on Virgie’s sixth birthday. Her slave Uncle Billy dances for her party guests, but the celebration is brought abruptly to an end when a messenger arrives with news of the assault on Fort Sumter
and a declaration of war. Virgie’s father is ordered to the Armory with horse and side-arms. He becomes a scout for the Confederate Army, crossing enemy lines to gather information. On these expeditions, he sometimes briefly visits his family.
One day, Colonel Morrison, a Union officer, arrives at the Cary plantation looking for Virgie‘s father. Virgie defies him, hitting him with a pebble from her slingshot and singing “Dixie”. After Morrison leaves, Cary arrives to visit... Read More