Shirley Temple shines as a young radio entertainer in this 1938 Darryl Zanuck film inspired by Kate Wiggin's classic novel. In a role perfectly suited to her song and dance talents, Temple plays the "very self-reliant" Re... more »becca Winstead, a precocious pixie who wins the audition to become Crackling Grain Flakes "Little Miss America" for a new radio broadcast. Fame is fleeting, however, when she moves to Sunnybrook Farm to live with Aunt Miranda (Helen Westley), an overbearing curmudgeon who absolutely forbids any entanglements in show business. Since the show must go on, it will require some slapstick tomfoolery and secretive shenanigans that turn an otherwise straightforward story into an uproarious cat-and-mouse comedy. Sunnybrook Farm is reminiscent of Temple's earlier Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), as it reunites her with co-stars Jack Haley and Gloria Stuart. The soundtrack includes Temple's legendary songs, "An Old Straw Hat," "On the Good Ship Lollipop," and "Animal Crackers in My Soup," ending with a grandiose military dance number, "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," performed by Temple and renowned tap-dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The DVD offers two viewing options: a remastered colorized version, or the original (restored) black and white. (All ages) --Lynn Gibson« less
"It's almost strange to look at these "Shirley Temple films" at various stages of your own life. You view them differently as you grow older. It also depends, I suppose, on how familiar you are with 1930s films. Many of them are dated, especially with the language, songs and comedy of the period, so you have to acclimate yourself.
After a decade away from her films, I viewed this one recently and found both good and bad things about watching it. The positives, however, far outweighed the negatives and I believe this is one of Shirley's more entertaining efforts.
After starring now for about five years, it's obvious how comfortable she had become in her roles. She looked extremely confident in here and why not? She had her act down pat. She even performed one song that was medley of her hits from previous movies. Yup, she was a veteran at the ripe old age of 10 and at the peak of her career in the 1930s.
In this movie was the normal mixture of characters, meaning a crabby old woman, a nice young couple that you wanted to see get married, a couple of wacky cronies, good 'ole Bill Robinson nearby....and the regular happy ending. The wholesome and pretty woman in here was Gloria Stuart. She was the same lady in 1997's "Titantic." The leading man was western star Randolph Scott and the old biddy was Helen Westley. The goofballs were Slim Summerville, Jack Haley and William Demarest. This was one of the better casts in the Temple movies.
The only drawback, really, was the total lack of credibility, scene after scene of things that made no sense...such as an entire orchestra and chorus setting up inside a quiet farmhouse and the occupant (Westley) unaware of it??!!! There are a number of scenes that just leave you shaking your head in amazement. So....you just have to suspend all belief and just enjoy the comedy, Shirley's tremendous talent and appeal, and all the pleasing songs and dances in here. That done, you've spent an enjoyable 80 minutes.
Made during the Depression years when Americans desperately needed to feel good, Shirley Temple was perhaps the best at filling that need. Some 70 years later, she still ranks as the greatest child entertaining in United States history and her films still put a smile on one's face. She still makes us feel good. "
Be optimistic and smile! Oh, how Shirley could sing and danc
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 05/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shirley Temple earned great fame as a child actress in Hollywood; and this movie shows us why. Shirley Temple sings and dances her way through many numbers, including "An Old Straw Hat" and an olio of her classic melodies including "Animal Crackers In My Soup" and "On The Good Ship Lollipop." Temple shines like no other child star ever did; and we will have to wait a very long time to see another quite like her.
Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm stars Temple as a young child named Rebecca Winstead who has incredible talents; she even wins a radio gig as "Little Miss America" just based on her being herself when she sings. Of course, even a musical needs something of a plot; therefore there's a misunderstanding and Shirley and her stepfather (William Demarest) go away thinking they lost the talent contest. Her stepfather takes her to Sunnybrook Farm which is run by her crusty old aunt Miranda (Helen Westley). Miranda agrees to take care of Rebecca on the condition that the stepfather never returns. Fortunately, though, instead of being sad about her very different new environment, Rebecca is an upbeat, optimistic kid who takes to the farm rather well.
Things begin to snowball much faster when it turns out that just by pure coincidence (oh, sure) the man who ran the talent contest lives just next door to her Aunt Miranda's home. At this point in the film many questions arise: Will he finally recognize that Shirley is the girl who won the talent contest? Even if Shirley is recognized, will her Aunt Miranda let them put her on the radio? And what happens when her stepfather ultimately hears of all this fuss going on? No spoilers here, folks; you'll have to watch the movie to find out! There are some funny moments using slapstick, too.
The DVD offers us the motion picture in both black and white as well as color. This movie was originally filmed in black and white and then colorized. The DVD lacks extras except for some clips from Heidi and Little Miss Broadway.
The cinematography shines with the characters being filmed very artistically within the confines of the screen and the choreography of the dance numbers is terrific. The finale, "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," showcases Shirley Temple and Bill Robinson dancing wonderfully and this will thrill you!
Overall, I highly recommend this for Shirley Temple fans; and people who want to watch classic movies with their children will enjoy this film, too.
Enjoy! Great job, everyone!!! "
I liked it alot.
Matthew G. Sherwin | 12/29/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think it was cute the way things just happened. It was full of songs. Shirley Temple is awesome. I loved it. Shirley trys out for a part on the radio. When she doesn't make it he Uncle Harry dumps her at her Aunt Maranda's house. She runs into a nice neighbor when a pig runs away. The neighbor is the man who was offering the radio job. It ends up being Rebecca who was supposed to be on the radio. It was wonderful have she WAS very self reliant."
Classic Shirley Temple Movie
Paul | New Jersey, The United States of America | 10/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A radio company is desperately trying to find a young girl to be featured on their new program, Little Miss America. Rebecca (Shirely Temple) and her Uncle Harry (William Demerest) go to the company to audition. After hearing only a few measures of Rebecca's song, Tony, the talent agent, knows Rebecca is perfect. He rings down and says that's enough, and the man thinks that Tony doesn't like Rebecca. But Tony had every intention to hire her. He goes crazy trying to get her before she leaves the building, but doesn't.He goes down to his farm, and little does he realize that Rebecca is living right next door with her Aunt Miranda!When he finds out, he wants to set her up for the broadcast, but Aunt Miranda doesn't want Rebecca to be a radio star.This wonderful movie is hilarious and innocent Rebecca is a very memorable character! This movie is wonderufl."
Shirley Dances Her Way Into Your Heart
Kristin Rattigan | In Bed | 09/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is really cute. When her stepfather does all his best to train her and she doesn't get the part on the radio he decides to dump her with Aunt Miranda. With tme isunderstanding ,they really did want her. She finds her way with the next door neighbor is the talent agent. I love the little pigs in this movie. Its always great to see her dance with Bojangles. This is a sure charmer for everyone!"