Shirley Temple is at her plucky peak in this film. She bests legend Lionel Barrymore: literally (her credit is above his) and figuratively (as her character softens his). The Little Colonel
is set in the post-Civil War South. Little Lloyd Sherman hopes to reunite her mother, Elizabeth Lloyd (Evelyn Venable), with her stern Confederate Civil War veteran grandfather, Colonel Lloyd (Barrymore). Six years earlier, Lloyd's mother had run away to marry Yankee Jack Sherman (John Lodge). Now the young family hopes to return to Elizabeth's plantation home.
Like The Littlest Rebel, made the same year (1935), the film has questionable politics, featuring a supplicant Mom Becky (the formidable future Oscar-winner Hattie McDaniel) and a poor-spelling butler, Walker (Bill "BoJangles" Robinson). But Temple, as sweetly energetic little Lloyd, is affectionate with both, as well as with her African American playmates, May Lily (Avonnie Jackson) and Henry Clay (Nyanza Potts). (Temple apparently shared the sentiment in real life, and once said Robinson was her favorite costar.) The Little Colonel features the amazing dance number with Temple and Robinson merrily tapping up and down a staircase. --N.F. Mendoza
*Disc 1: Dimples *Disc 2: Little Colonel *Disc 3: Littlest Rebel