Dimples


1h 18m 1936

Brief Synopsis

Shirley Temple lives with the pick-pocket grandfather in 19th century New York City. She entertains the crowds while he works his racket. A rich lady makes it possible for the girl to go legit. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is performed.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Bowery Princess
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Oct 16, 1936
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 9 Oct 1936
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,108ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In the New York of 1850, "decent folk' are beginning to tolerate the theater, while "young radicals" argue against slavery. Dimples Appleby, who leads a band of children street singers, lives with her grandfather, Professor Eustace Appleby, an old actor down on his luck who now teaches acting, singing and birdcalls, and who has resorted to petty theft, rumors of which Dimples refuses to believe. The children perform at the Drew estate uptown, and Dimples is apprehended trying to escape after furs are discovered to be missing. Informed of this, the professor returns with the furs and reports that he valiantly fought a thief to get the furs back. Before leaving, Dimples sees the professor snatch a cuckoo clock. The next day, she returns it to Mrs. Caroline Drew and says that she stole it herself. The kindly Mrs. Drew is interrupted in her talk with Dimples when she learns that her beloved nephew Allen is breaking his engagement with Betty Loring, the daughter of Mrs. Drew's friend, Colonel Loring, because of his infatuation with actress Cleo Marsh. Shocked, Mrs. Drew, who hates the theater, orders Allen to break with the actress, and Allen sadly says he will leave his aunt's home. After he goes, Dimples sees Mrs. Drew crying. Mrs. Drew takes Dimples back to the professor's shabby quarters and asks him to let Dimples live with her for the girl's sake. Dimples overhears her offer the professor $5,000, and after Mrs. Drew leaves, Dimples tearfully asks the professor not to sell her, whereupon he vows he would not do that for all the money in the world. Although cut off financially from his aunt, Allen has enough savings to produce the first performance of Uncle Tom's Cabin . He auditions Dimples for the role of "Eva," and hires the professor as his assistant. After the professor loses Allen's last $800 to a gang of con-artists, Allen's creditors threaten to have someone put in jail if the company does not pay its bills. To save her grandfather, Dimples agrees to live with Mrs. Drew for the $5,000. When the professor calls on Mrs. Drew for the money, he finds Dimples crying because she is lonesome without him, and he returns Mrs. Drew's check. Before he leaves with Dimples, however, he convinces Mrs. Drew, who is attentive to his flirtations, that a worthless watch which he got from the conmen was given to Napoleon by Josephine and accepts $1,000 from Mrs. Drew for the watch. As the play is about to begin without Cleo, who left Allen when his money was gone, Dimples brings Betty, whose father forbade her to attend, to see Allen backstage. Meanwhile, Colonel Loring declares the watch to be a fake, and with police in tow, Mrs. Drew and the colonel arrive at the theater to have the professor arrested. To avoid them, the professor dons an "Uncle Tom" costume and in blackface, performs the role until the actor cast as "Uncle Tom" also appears onstage in blackface. The professor is arrested upon exiting the stage, but the police, Mrs. Drew and Colonel Loring agree to remain until the end of the play rather than disrupt it. Moved to tears by Eva's deathbed scene, as played by Dimples, Mrs. Drew calls the play beautiful and tells the police to let the professor go. A year later, after a performance, Allen, now with Betty, announces to an audience which includes the professor, who kisses Mrs. Drew's shoulder, the first presentation in New York of a minstrel show, in which Dimples is starred.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Bowery Princess
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Oct 16, 1936
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 9 Oct 1936
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,108ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The first treatment of this film was entitled "Under the Gaslight." During production, the title of the film was changed from Dimples to The Bowery Princess, but it was changed back before the film's release. The following cast suggestions were listed in material in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library: W. C. Fields as "Professor Eustace Appleby"; Edna May Oliver as "Mrs. Caroline Drew"; Michael Whalen as "Allen Drew"; Claude Gillingwater as "Colonel Loring"; Warren Hymer as "Patrolman"; and Borrah Minevitch and His Gang. A Hollywood Reporter news item from December 1935 states that Twentieth Century-Fox was negotiating with Paramount to borrow Fields for the film. Joseph Cawthorn is listed as a cast member in a Hollywood Reporter production chart; his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The copyright sheet music register lists the song "Oh, Mister Man Up in the Moon," by Ted Koehler and Jimmy McHugh as having been written for this film, but it was not included in the final film. Stepin Fetchit's name is not in the opening or closing credits of the video release of the film, but his name was included in the opening and closing credits of the 1936 release. In a New York Times article, Bill Robinson was quoted saying about Shirley Temple, "The kid might not be a perfect tap dancer, but I want 'em to find me another her age who could learn five of my routines in a week." In a modern source, Frank Morgan was quoted saying about Temple that "she is the greatest actress I ever played with."