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Shirley Temple in a role that seems custom-made for her, portrays the spirited young heroine of the popular children's novel, giving her a rich emotional depth and infinite charm. When her aunt tires of caring for her, orphan Heidi is taken into the Swiss mountains to live with her gruff grandfather (Jean Hersholt), a hermit who comes to adore her. But the aunt returns to steal Heidi away, selling her to a family whose invalid daughter (Marcia Mae Jones) needs a companion. Bullied by an evil governess (Mary Nash), Heidi still charms the entire household and never stops trying to return to her beloved grandfather.
One thing Shirley Temple did extremely well (besides sing, dance, and act) was turn the cranky cuddly. She'd done it effectively, two years prior, in 1935's The Little Colonel with grandfather Lionel Barrymore. Now in Heidi she turns her reclusive grumpy grandfather, Adolf (Jean Hersholt), into the loving sort she knows he really is. Heidi is an orphan, dumped into the Swiss Alps by self-centered Aunt Dete (Mady Christians) onto a grandfather she's never known, but they soon learn to love each other. Heidi's mercenary aunt returns and sells (!) Heidi to a cruel woman, appropriately named Fraulein Rottenmeier (Mary Nash). Adolf sets out on a quest to find his granddaughter. Meanwhile, Heidi charms Klara Sesemann (Marcia Mae Jones), the wealthy handicapped girl in Fraulein Rottenmeier's care. Look for a delightful Arthur Treacher as the Sesemann butler. There's a cute fantasy production number, "In Our Little Wooden Shoes," featuring Temple in various period costumes. Throughout Heidi, Temple is, as always, wonderfully joyful. This is perhaps the best-known rendering of the popular children's story by Johanna Spyri (it's been filmed some 10 times). --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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the cast includes:
Shirley Temple ... Heidi Kramer
Jean Hersholt ... Adolph Kramer, The Grandfather
Arthur Treacher ... Andrews, the Butler
Helen Westley ... Blind Anna
Thomas Beck ... Pastor Schultz
Mary Nash ... Fräulein Rottenmeier
Sidney Blackmer ... Herr Sesemann
Pauline Moore ... Fräulein Elsa
Mady Christians ... Dete
Marcia Mae Jones ... Klara Sesemann
Delmar Watson ... Peter, the Goat General
Egon Brecher ... Inn Keeper
Christian Rub ...Read more ›
Heidi is a little orphan girl left under the care of her isolated Grandfather Adolf Kramer by her neglectful Aunt Didi. Heidi makes the best of staying with her Grandfather and learns to like it. Without knowing, she is bringing the life back into her Grandfather all by just being herself. When both soon learn to love each other, and Heidi gets the town to like her Grandfather again, Didi comes back and sells Heidi to a rich family in Frankfurt, Germany. There, she meets Clara, the invalid daughter of Heir Sessman. Heidi tries to teach her to walk, but she's too afraid, for both of them know that Frauline Rottenmeir the housekeeper doesn't want Clara to get better. The old woman makes Hiedi's stay there even worse by threatening her, and even smashing both Clara's, and Heidi's breakable Christmas presents. Heidi must get back to the Alps of Switzerland fast or else she'll sold to the Gispsies by evil Rottenmier.
Shirley Temple was a great actress for Heidi. If they tried, they couldn't get a better Heidi. She delivers all the time. The noly movie I don't recommend with her in it is the Blue Bird. That was boring as heck. I do recommend Curly Top though, and Wee Willy Winky. Those are both classics along with Heidi. Instant 5 stars!
But rate the DVD an utter BOMB, and a dud at that. Fox Home Video offers two versions of the film on this disc, neither one of which is an acceptable transfer of this fondly-remembered and eagerly-anticipated release. One is the wretched "colorized" version that was released during that dreadful time in film history when modern businessmen dared to tamper with the classic artistry of bona fide filmmakers from the Golden Era (an experiment which critics and consumers alike rejected ... how many black and white classics are being colorized today?). The other version offered on the DVD is a substandard transfer of a very poor black and white print that is an insult to consumers. It doesn't do the original film justice, and more importantly, it's NOT the best print currently available. I predict that in a couple of years, Fox will offer a "newly restored" edition, and make the public buy this title once again to get an improved copy that should be available NOW. (Can you say, "Disney's 'Little Mermaid'"?)
I recommend you wait, and hold on to your money. Do not encourage studios by purchasing whatever inferior product they toss into the marketplace. This DVD is an insult to both Miss Temple whose box office popularity saved 20th Century-Fox from ruin during the depths of the Depression, and to the public who wishes to enjoy her unique talents on DVD.
Most recent customer reviews
We always watch Heidi at Christmas time because of the Christmas scenes in it. I only had the video so am now updated to a dvd. Read morePublished 8 days ago by D. Partridge
I love the movie itself, that's why I bought it! However, I did't notice that Moviemars.com had stated in the description that it did not play in the US or Canada and therefore I... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Sherry
I purchased this because I remembered being in love with it as a child. It is good, but not quite as I remembered. Still worth owning a piece of history.Published 1 month ago by Ree
Don't know yet, saving it for boating season. I'm sure it is fine. All the rest were.Published 15 months ago by George Robinson
I loved this movie as a child and now can share it with my granddaughter.Published 16 months ago by CalgaryArmyBrat
...with my grandchildren, as with many other youngsters through time. I'm sure glad, though, that there was a colorized version. They just can't, or won't, watch black and white. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Brian Harms
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