on April 2, 2004
The Little Princess remains one of my favorite childhood movie memories. Finding the DVD version was simple enough. I was unaware of how widely the quality varied between the different versions available. The first version I purchased from a Canadian group was horrible. This DVD presentation was reasonable but not striking. The image was grainy and lacked that "Technicolor" brilliance I had hoped for. All of the DVD and VHS versions seem to be made from one film transfer made from an old print. The color rendering is poor. Some scenes appear almost Black and White. Unlike "The WIzard of Oz" or "The Secret Garden" I don't think this was intentional. This version is not transfered from Technicolor stock. I wonder if it was even made from 35 millimeter film. The quality if any in this DVD is from some digital processing available to old video. It does not appear a flying spot scanner or any film restoration equipment was used to create this DVD. The only really nice color image was the cover of the DVD package. I wish someone could find the real Technicolor masters, either the negative or positive film. If you were going to restore one Shirley Temple work, this film would be the one. It is a classic of the time with a glimpse at that time. And Shirley Temple was good in this film. You wipe tears away from your eyes at least twice. And Temple sings a great little song. Did I mention she dances a little too.
on August 4, 2003
I think The Little Princess movie is the best movie Shirley
Temple ever made because she played the part like it was real.
The movie was about Shirley Temple as Sarah Crew and she had to live in an orphanage while her daddy was in the war. Sarah Crew`s mother died. The headmaster and the girls were jealous of her and made Sarah clean and sleep in the attic.
At the end of the movie Sarah thinks that her daddy is in the hospital. She escapes from the orphanage and finds him there. My favorite part about the movie is when Sarah has a dream and then she awakes and has lots of pretty things.
on January 10, 2004
This review is of the Madacy DVD of "The Little Princess." The picture quality of this DVD is acceptable, more or less, but the audio portion is another thing. The sound is limited to a very narrow band in the midrange. Shirley's voice, for example, is quite tinny throughout the film. At times the sound volume changes abruptly or even disappears completely. One has the impression that the DVD audio engineer tried to regulate the sound volume at a single sitting by turning the knob in real time as he listened to the film. This movie has always sounded quite good on broadcast TV, which obviously wasn't playing back this Madacy disaster.
Unfortunately, it would seem that this writer's experience with "The Little Princess" is not unlike others' experiences with Madacy products. Read Doug Pratt's review of "Two Women" in his Video and DVD Guide (available from amazon.com but also readable on DVDLaser.com) and be forewarned. I now avoid Madacy DVDs.
on April 28, 2003
I have not read the book by F.H. Burnett, on which the film was based, or seen the 1995 remake, but I agree with the majority of reviewers who feel that Shirley Temple did not give one of her best performances in THE LITTLE PRINCESS. This film suffers from an excess of overacting, not only from Shirley but also from her supporting cast. As Sara Crewe, the poor little rich girl who goes from "riches to rags", Shirley is unconvincing in all her attempts to display emotion, whether she is grieving over the disappearance of her father or expressing joy when finally re-united with him at the end of the film. Not helping her in any way are the British actors and actresses who fill the supporting roles. They overplay their "Englishness" to the point of irritation (especially Arthur Treacher), which seriously detracts from the enjoyment of the film. Shirley, too, overplays the English bit in her song-and-dance routines with Treacher, where she has as much trouble with a Cockney accent as the poor American actress who was stuck playing the part of the Cockney servant girl who befriends Shirley at school. In THE LITTLE PRINCESS Shirley's talent for dance never has the opportunity to shine, as it did in previous films. It is obvious in the ballet sequence that she didn't have the strength in her feet to dance in pointe shoes, and her duets with Treacher are clearly no match for those memorable scenes when she dances with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in THE LITTLE COLONEL, or with Buddy "Jed Clampett" Ebsen in CAPTAIN JANUARY. For children and adults who want to see examples of her dancing prowess, these two films are highly recommended. And to see her performing with that irresistible charm which made her the public's little darling of the 1930s, take a look at WEE WILLIE WINKIE or POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL. (A note to fans of Marcia Mae Jones: My favorite scene in THE LITTLE PRINCESS, and possibly the highlight of the film, occurs near the end when Marcia, playing the haughty schoolgirl Lavinia, gets a pail of ashes dumped on her head. Touche', Shirley.)
on November 19, 2002
I grew up reading the book The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and didn't watch this movie until after I had read and re-read the book. Having loved the book so intensely, this movie was a great disappointment. However, I do love Shirley Temple movies, and I think that if I had not loved the book as I did my feelings about this movie would be different. It is a cute movie, somewhat typical (lots of singing and dancing, very pretty young woman and handsome young man have a romance in which Shirley helps considerably) but there are also quite a few elements in the plot that make this movie different. If you haven't read the book, or you have but not much, then this movie will probably be an enjoyable one. If you loved the book as I did, then watch this film not as an adaptation of the wonderful book, but as another cute Shirley Temple movie, you might do okay.
On a side note, I watched a perfectly stunning adaptation of The Little Princess years ago on our local PBS. I think it was produced by the BBC. That one was very, very good, it was really close to the book and the actors were superb. *sigh* I wish I could find a copy for sale.
on February 16, 2009
I bought this DVD for my wife and granddaughters. My wife had enjoyed this film as a little girl growing up in Italy.
Our granddaughters enjoyed the film a lot. The quality was very good.
I was pleased with my purchase.
on December 22, 2003
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I absolutely adore this Shirley Temple movie. It is one that brings back many memories of watching Shirley Temple movies with my sister when we were little. My favorite parts are when Shirley and her little friend wake up and see all the beautiful gifts that were given to her by the Indian guy, and when she throws the bucket of soot on the snotty Clarissa, but most of all, when she finds her "Daddy" at the end,as he keeps calling "Sara, Sara."
This one is excellent, and I highly recommend it!
on December 8, 2003
The book and movies are favorites in our family. Though the 1995 version is a much better script with better acting, this film gives attention and details of the story that the new version does not - it provides some historical data as well. But the best selling point of this film is the "dream scene." Here is a poem in monologue and dialogue that is pure comedy combined with dance and exaggeration of characters to the extreme. This scene makes the movie worth owning even if you own the newer (better) story "A Little Princess".
on August 24, 2003
I have recently bought this DVD from the brand/company, and it came with a scrach and would only play the first half of the movie. Having opened the DVD I could not return it, but because it was such a cheap price it wasn't to bad. I have seen the full movie, and I think it is one Shirley's better ones. One of my favorite parts is when Shirley and Arther Treacher sing "Knock'd Em In The Old Kent Road". I loved the movie, but I don't think I would buy from the DVD company again.
on April 25, 2003
I have not read the book by F.H. Burnett, on which this film was based, or seen the 1995 remake, but I agree with the majority of reviewers who feel that Shirley Temple did not give one of her best performances in THE LITTLE PRINCESS as Sara Crewe, the poor little rich girl who goes from "riches to rags". This film, in my opinion, suffers from an excess of overacting, not only from Shirley but also from her supporting cast. Shirley is unconvincing in her attempts to display emotion, whether it is grief over her father's reported death, or joy when she is finally re-united with him at the end of the film. Though I never considered her a remarkable child actress, still she seemed unable here to re-create the irresistible charm of her earlier films, which so endeared her to the public of the 1930s. Not helping her in any way are the British actors and actresses who fill the supporting roles. They overplay their "Englishness" to the point of irritation (especially Arthur Treacher), which detracts from the enjoyment of the film. Shirley, too, overplays the English bit in her song-and-dance routines with Treacher, and has as much trouble with the Cockney accent as the poor American actress who was stuck playing the part of the Cockney servant girl who befriends Shirley at the school. In THE LITTLE PRINCESS her talent for dance never has the opportunity to shine as it did in previous films. It was obvious in the ballet sequence that she didn't possess the strength to dance in point shoes, and her duets with Treacher cannot compare with the memorable scenes of her dancing with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in THE LITTLE COLONEL, or with Buddy "Jed Clampett" Ebsen in CAPTAIN JANUARY. For children and adults who want to see examples of her dancing prowess, these two films are strongly recommended. And for those wishing to see Shirly performing at her best, take a look at WEE WILLIE WINKIE or POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL. (A note to fans of Marcia Mae Jones: My favorite scene in THE LITTLE PRINCESS, and possibly the highlight of the film, occurs near the end when Marcia, playing the haughty schoolgirl Lavinia, gets a pail of ashes dumped on her head. Touche', Shirley.