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The Little Princess

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The Little Princess (1939) starring Shirley Temple
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The Little Princess is the classic Shirley Temple film where a little girl goes from riches to rags. She searches for her father, reported missing during the Second Boer War.

The Little Princess (1939) starring Shirley Temple

In Victorian-era England, Captain Reginald Crewe places his daughter Sara (Shirley Temple), in an exclusive boarding school run by Miss Amanda Minchin. He heads off to fight in the Boer War. At first the down-to-earth Sara is treated like “a little Princess” by the staff and students. But the other girls are resentful.

A birthday party for the little princess before her turn of fortunes

Things change dramatically when Sara’s father is reported killed in the war. Miss Minchin moves Sara out of her comfortable rooms and up into the attic, where she shares a garret with the cinder girl, Becky. Sara deals with the drama by pretending that she still has the luxuries she once knew. She keeps her dignity intact even though she’s forced to wait on and clean the rooms of the other girls. Some of them have become spiteful at Sara’s reversal of fortune.

A sweet and funny dream sequence between Shirley Temple and Arthur Treacher, who remains a true friend even after she loses her fortune

Befriended by neighbors Lord Wickham and his servant Ram Dass, they send Sara food over the alley between their houses. But she still insists on going to a nearby military hospital to see if her father has returned.

Finally she finds her catatonic father, who doesn’t even recognize her. In a tearful scene sure to melt your the heart, Temple runs the gamut from joy to hysteria as she tries to tell the shell-shocked soldier that she is his daughter. Recovering fom his daze, Captain Crewe embraces his daughter as Queen Victoria warmly looks on.

Product Description 

When Sara (played by Shirley Temple) goes off to boarding school, it’s expected to be a temporary situation until her father returns from the Boer War he went to fight. At first, Sara leaves quite an impression, but soon finds herself at the center of jealousy and resentment, which only worsens when her father is reported missing in action. Can Sara escape her miserable situation and find her father? 

This lavish film, shot in glorious Technicolor, is considered by many to be Shirley Temple’s penultimate performance. The Little Princess is a beloved classic that has charmed many generations of children since its release in 1939, and is sure to continue doing so for future generations.

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