|Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm|
|Directed by||Allan Dwan|
|Produced by|| Darryl F. Zanuck |
|Screenplay by||Don Ettlinger|
William M. Conselman
|Based on|| Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm |
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
|Cinematography||Arthur C. Miller|
|Edited by||Allen McNeil|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation|
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a 1938 American musical comedy film directed by Allan Dwan and starring Shirley Temple, Randolph Scott, and Bill Robinson. The screenplay by Don Ettlinger and Karl Tunberg is loosely based on Kate Douglas Wiggin's 1903 novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm . This is the second of three films in which Shirley Temple and Randolph Scott appeared together; the others were To the Last Man (1933) and Susannah of the Mounties (1939).
The film tells the story of a talented orphan's trials and tribulations after winning a radio audition to represent a breakfast cereal. Highlights include Temple singing a medley of her hit tunes and dancing with Bill Robinson on a flight of stairs. The film was well received by Variety , and, in 2009, was available on videocassette and DVD.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm film versions were made in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917) starring Mary Pickford; Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1932) starring Marian Nixon.
Rebecca Winstead (Shirley Temple), a musically talented orphan, is under the guardianship of her stepfather Harry Kipper (William Demarest). She auditions for the radio role of Little Miss America and wins it, but leaves the studio believing she lost it. Kipper regards her as a loser and a burden, and dumps her on the farm of her Aunt Miranda.
Tony Kent (Randolph Scott), the radio advertising executive who approved Rebecca for the role of Little Miss America, lives next door to Miranda. He recognizes Rebecca, and asks Miranda's permission to feature Rebecca on his radio show. When Aunt Miranda (Helen Westley) refuses to allow Rebecca to associate with show people, Kent broadcasts secretly from his house with Rebecca joining him on the sly.
Kipper hears Rebecca's broadcast and returns to the farm looking for easy money. As Rebecca's legal guardian, he forces Aunt Miranda to surrender the child. He takes her away from her friends and loved ones to New York City. There, he signs a contract with Kent's competitor Purvis (Alan Dinehart) to star Rebecca on another radio show.
When Rebecca suddenly develops laryngitis and cannot sing, Purvis angrily voids the contract. Kipper sells his legal guardianship to Aunt Miranda for $5,000. Rebecca reveals to her friends she feigned hoarseness to free herself from Kipper. The film ends with Rebecca and Aunt Miranda's farm hand Aloysius costumed as toy soldiers performing a dance on a flight on stairs.
Subplots include a romance between Kent and Rebecca's cousin Gwen (Gloria Stuart), a one-sided romance between radio singers Orville and Lola (Jack Haley and Phyllis Brooks), and the rekindling of an old romance between Aunt Miranda and neighbor Homer Busby (Slim Summerville).
This movie is notable as the first movie in which Temple's mother did away with the trademark 56 curls for which Temple became famous. The new style with the long loose waves combed back was modeled to look closer to that of Mary Pickford, whom Temple's mother admired.
In the preparation for the film's finale (the "Toy Trumpet" dance number), Robinson joined Temple and her mother at the Desert Inn in Palm Springs to begin rehearsals. It was here that Temple had her first real encounter with the racism endured by Robinson, as he was forced to sleep in the chauffeurs' quarters as opposed to the cottages reserved for white guests.
At one point, preparations were made to include a drum sequence in the movie where Temple would play on the drums along with the musicians on the set. Temple befriended the studio drummer Johnny Williams, who taught her how to play the drums. Dwan, noticing her aptitude for the instrument, immediately ordered another drum set for her. Temple's mother, however, was strongly opposed to it, believing her sitting with legs apart was unladylike. The resulting sequence was later dropped, much to Temple's chagrin.
Temple's brother Jack Temple was hired as the movie's 3rd assistant director, to which as Shirley Temple would later say, he "spent time thinking up things to take care of, one of which was me." He was subsequently fired after he and Shirley Temple got into a dispute over a roasted turkey prop on the set. The turkey had been sprayed with insecticide to discourage insects, and her brother loudly ordered her not to eat the turkey, which she had no intention of doing. Out of spite, she popped the turkey in her mouth, prompting her brother to shake her to dislodge it. The spat did not sit well with the director Dwan, who ordered him off the set.
The opening credits overture is an orchestral arrangement of what appears to be the film's unofficial theme tune by virtue of its several reprises, An Old Straw Hat by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon. The tune returns as an abbreviated vocal solo for Rebecca when she auditions at the radio station in the first scene, and returns later as a solo for Rebecca while she picks berries on the farm with Aloysius. In another scene, she sings it over the telephone.
When Rebecca broadcasts from Kent's country home midpoint in the film, she accompanies herself on the piano through a medley that includes On the Good Ship Lollipop , Animal Crackers in My Soup , When I'm with You, Oh My Goodness, and Goodnight My Love – all Temple hit tunes from previous films. The film ends with Temple and Robinson clad as toy soldiers dancing on a flight of stairs to The Toy Trumpet by Raymond Scott, Sidney D. Mitchell and Lew Pollack.
Other tunes in the film include the first scene's Happy Ending (Pollack and Mitchell) dubbed for Phyllis Brooks by Loretta Lee (Temple also recorded the song for the film, but it was cut before release); You've Gotta Eat Your Spinach, Baby (Revel and Gordon) sung comically and never in its entirety by girls auditioning for the radio show in the first scene; Come and Get Your Happiness (Pokrass and Yellen) sung by Temple; and Alone with You (Pollack and Mitchell) sung by Brooks (dubbed again by Loretta Lee) and Haley. The breakfast cereal's jingle Crackly Grain Flakes (Pollack and Mitchell) is sung by a male quartet.
Variety wrote, "The national No. 1 box office star has seldom shone so brilliantly in her singing, dancing and repartee. That means she is going right ahead to bigger and better grosses."
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
In 2009, the film was available on videocassette and DVD in the black and white original and computer-colorized versions. Some editions had special features and theatrical trailers.
Allan Dwan was a pioneering Canadian-born American motion picture director, producer, and screenwriter.
Kate Douglas Wiggin was an American educator, author and composer. She wrote children's stories, most notably the classic children's novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and composed collections of children's songs. She started the first free kindergarten in San Francisco in 1878. With her sister during the 1880s, she also established a training school for kindergarten teachers. Kate Wiggin devoted her adult life to the welfare of children in an era when children were commonly thought of as cheap labor.
Shirley Temple Black was an American actress, singer, dancer, businesswoman, and diplomat who was Hollywood's number one box-office draw as a child actress from 1934 to 1938. As an adult, she was named United States ambassador to Ghana and to Czechoslovakia, and also served as Chief of Protocol of the United States.
Captain January is an 1891 children's novel, written by Laura E. Richards, and later transformed into two films, the 1924 silent film Captain January, starring Baby Peggy and the 1936 musical film Captain January, starring Shirley Temple. The story is about a lighthouse keeper and his little girl, Star.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a classic American 1903 children's novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin that tells the story of Rebecca Rowena Randall and her aunts, one stern and one kind, in the fictional village of Riverboro, Maine. Rebecca's joy for life inspires her aunts, but she faces many trials in her young life, gaining wisdom and understanding. Wiggin wrote a sequel, New Chronicles of Rebecca. Eric Wiggin, a great-nephew of the author, wrote updated versions of several Rebecca books, including a concluding story. The story was adapted for the theatrical stage and filmed three times, once with Shirley Temple in the title role, as well as a Japanese animated short as part of the Anime Tamago project.
The Little Colonel is a 1935 American comedy drama film directed by David Butler. The screenplay by William M. Conselman was adapted from the children's novel of the same name by Annie Fellows Johnston, originally published in 1895. It focuses on the reconciliation of an estranged father and daughter in the years following the American Civil War. The film stars Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, Evelyn Venable, John Lodge, Bill Robinson, and Hattie McDaniel.
The Little Princess is a 1939 American drama film directed by Walter Lang. The screenplay by Ethel Hill and Walter Ferris is loosely based on the 1905 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.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a 1917 American silent comedy-drama film directed by Marshall Neilan based upon the 1903 novel of the same name by Kate Douglas Wiggin. This version is notable for having been adapted by famed female screenwriter Frances Marion. The film was made by the "Mary Pickford Company" and was an acclaimed box office hit. When the play premiered on Broadway in the 1910 theater season the part of Rebecca was played by Edith Taliaferro.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a 1932 film based on the 1903 children's classic novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a play written by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Charlotte Thompson. It is an adaptation of Wiggin's novels about the character Rebecca Rowena Randall, including elements from the 1903 novel of the same name and the 1907 follow-up, New Chronicles of Rebecca. Producers Klaw and Erlanger debuted it at the Court Square Theatre in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 15, 1909. After touring New England for a season, it appeared on Broadway, opening at the Republic Theatre on October 3, 1910. The play received positive reviews and was used as the basis for subsequent movie adaptations.
Stand Up and Cheer! is a 1934 American Pre-Code musical film directed by Hamilton MacFadden. The screenplay by Lew Brown and Ralph Spence was based upon a story idea by Will Rogers and Philip Klein. The film is about efforts undertaken during the Great Depression to boost the morale of the country. It is essentially a vehicle for a string of vaudeville acts and a few musical numbers. The film is best known for providing the first big breakthrough role for legendary child actress Shirley Temple. A little known bit player before the film, by the end of the year, she appeared in 10 movies, including 4 starring roles in major feature-length films.
Just Around the Corner is a 1938 American musical comedy film directed by Irving Cummings. The screenplay by Ethel Hill, Darrell Ware, and J. P. McEvoy was based on the novel Lucky Penny by Paul Gerard Smith. The film focuses on the tribulations of little Penny Hale (Temple) and her architect father (Farrell) after he is forced by circumstances to accept a job as a janitor. The film was the fourth and last cinematic song and dance pairing of Shirley Temple and Bill Robinson. It is available on DVD and videocassette. The musical score includes the popular standard "I Love to Walk in the Rain" which can be viewed on YouTube.
Heidi is a 1937 American musical drama film directed by Allan Dwan and starring Shirley Temple. The screenplay by Julien Josephson and Walter Ferris was loosely based on the 1881 children's story of the same name by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. The film is about an orphan named Heidi (Temple) who is taken from her grandfather to live as a companion to Klara, a spoiled, crippled girl. The film was a success and Temple enjoyed her third year in a row as number one box office draw.
For other songs with this title, see Goodnight My Love (disambiguation)
Helen Westley was an American character actress.
Dimples is a 1936 American musical drama film directed by William A. Seiter. The screenplay was written by Nat Perrin and Arthur Sheekman. The film is about a young mid-nineteenth century street entertainer who is separated from her pickpocket grandfather when given a home by a wealthy New York City widow. The film was panned by the critics. Videocassette and DVD versions of the film were available in 2009.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a classic American children's novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin.
Poor Little Rich Girl, advertised as The Poor Little Rich Girl, is a 1936 American musical film directed by Irving Cummings. The screenplay by Sam Hellman, Gladys Lehman, and Harry Tugend was based on stories by Eleanor Gates and Ralph Spence, and the 1917 Mary Pickford vehicle of the same name. The film focuses on a child (Temple) neglected by her rich and busy father. She meets two vaudeville performers and becomes a radio singing star. The film received a lukewarm critical reception from The New York Times.
Susannah of the Mounties is a 1939 American drama film directed by Walter Lang and William A. Seiter and starring Shirley Temple, Randolph Scott, and Margaret Lockwood. Based on the 1936 novel Susannah of the Mounties by Muriel Denison, the film is about an orphaned survivor of an Indian attack in the Canadian West who is taken in by a Mountie and his girlfriend. Following additional Indian attacks, the Mountie is saved from the stake by the young girl's intervention with the Indian chief.
The Hidden Woman is a lost 1922 American silent drama film directed by Allan Dwan and starring Evelyn Nesbit in her final full-length feature film. The film was claimed to be made in 1916 and not released until 1922, but this is impossible since Anne Shirley is a cast member and she was born in 1918. Nesbit's son, Russell Thaw, has a role in the film.