The Little Colonel (1935)

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The Little Colonel: Directed by David Butler. With Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, Evelyn Venable, John Lodge. In the post-Civil war south, a darling little girl attempts to restore the peace between her parents and her plantation owner grandfather.

“Having earned her nickname due to her stubborn temper, THE LITTLE COLONEL courageously tries to reunite her splintered family.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eShirley Temple smiles, pouts, tosses her curly locks and completely runs away with the movie. One of her early family classics, this is an excellent showcase for her tremendous charm u0026amp; abundant talents. As box-office queen, the mighty moppet would dominate Hollywood during the second half of the 1930u0026#39;s. Never was a despot so welcomed or a tyrant so loved.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs one of the industryu0026#39;s finest character actors, crusty Lionel Barrymore gives the little lady a run for her money. Always entertaining, he knows when to purr or when to roar to maximum effect, even if he doesnu0026#39;t quite eclipse Little Miss Personality.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHattie McDaniel adds her own unique gifts to the role of Shirleyu0026#39;s faithful servant, never allowing her dignity to be demeaned. As always, she is a joy. The legendary Bill Robinson is also on hand, mostly, one suspects, so as to partner Shirley in a couple of dances and they are wonderful, especially in Robinsonu0026#39;s signature Staircase Dance. They are perfectly matched – one ramrod straight u0026amp; ebony, the other tiny u0026amp; blonde – and their minutes together on the screen is the stuff of which movie magic is made.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eEvelyn Venable u0026amp; John Lodge, as Shirleyu0026#39;s parents (itu0026#39;s rare for her to have both all the way through a film) do nicely with the romantic angle, but itu0026#39;s kept to a minimum, as is usual in a Temple film, where the spotlight is kept firmly focused on her. Sidney Blackmer appears as a smooth swindler who makes the serious mistake of angering THE LITTLE COLONEL.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAlthough the film is given good production values by 20th Century Fox, it is the interaction between little Shirley and the other performers which far and away is the most important aspect of the picture.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIt should be noted that there are elements of racism in the story line, a not uncommon occurrence in Hollywood films of the 1930u0026#39;s.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe final scene segues into early Technicolor – a pleasant way to end the story.”

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