Five Little Peppers in Trouble


1h 3m 1940
Five Little Peppers in Trouble

Brief Synopsis

Five siblings face boarding school when their working mother can't hold a job and care for them.

Film Details

Also Known As
Five Little Peppers at School
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Sep 1, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on Five Little Peppers at School by Margaret Sidney (Boston, 1903).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

In Gusty Corners, as the public school closes for the day, the five Pepper children and Jasper King, a friend of the family who lives with them, are delayed getting home because Phronsie Pepper is kept late for recitation. When Jasper's aunt, Martha Wilcox, comes to the elderly Mr. King, Jasper's grandfather, to demand custody of her nephew, she is told to get a court order, because Jasper is happier living with the Peppers than with her. To elude Martha, King tells Martin, the family butler, to take the children to their new house which is under construction. That evening King tells the children they will be leaving early in the morning. The next morning, the family escapes just in time, as Martin delays the man Martha has brought from court to take Jasper. After arriving at Lansdowne Private School, the children are enrolled for the remainder of the term and introduced to the institute's regulated life. Separated into various dormitories by age and sex, Jasper and the Peppers are snubbed and ostracized by the snobbish students of Lansdowne. Polly Pepper reveals to Jasper and her brother Ben that they are at the school to keep Jasper from Martha, and so must adapt to the disagreeable situation. June, the worst of the Lansdowne girls, hears that an illicit midnight swim is planned, and so drains the pool and plants Polly's scarf so that she will receive the blame. Two girls, including the nice Pam, are hurt when they dive into the empty pool. Mrs. Lansdowne expels Polly, and Jasper and the Peppers leave the school. Upon their arrival at home, King is served with a court summons. However, he retains custody of Jasper by promising to take the family to Paris--an educational experience equal to any opportunity that Martha can provide.

Film Details

Also Known As
Five Little Peppers at School
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Sep 1, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on Five Little Peppers at School by Margaret Sidney (Boston, 1903).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Film Length
7 reels

Articles

Five Little Peppers in Trouble


Columbia didn't follow the original storylines in Margaret Sidney's vintage Little Peppers books because the conflicts were considered too small in scale -- one book was concerned with Polly's need for a new pair of shoes. The final series episode Five Little Peppers in Trouble (1940) drops the quaint Little Women- like format extolling the virtues of the impoverished but harmonious Pepper home. The Pepper children instead move into the fancy Landsdowne Boarding School and struggle with unpleasant fellow students. Polly (Edith Fellows) and the other children accompany their friend Jasper King (Ronald Sinclair) to the school, to help him hide from a legal custody suit put forth by a troublemaking aunt. Fellows' real life may have inspired the child custody idea, as she herself had undergone a court battle between relatives after control of her income. At Landsdowne the Pepper kids are separated by age and harassed by their new classmates. Little Phronsie's (Dorothy Ann Seese) mandated cute interludes are untouched, but Polly endures the mean-spirited provocations of a clique of rich girls. In a rather dark turn of events, the brat ringleader June (Shirley Mills) tricks two girls into diving into an empty swimming pool, and then frames Polly for the crime. Continuity-wise, Five Little Peppers in Trouble would seem to have been released out of order. It ends with the happy Peppers leaving for Paris, and the earlier picture Out West with the Peppers (1940) begins with the family returning from overseas. The short-lived Little Peppers series may have been cut short because the contract of its star Edith Fellows came to an end in 1941. Some of the other child actors continued to make a few movies, but the 18-year-old Edith was reportedly not in demand for older parts because she was under five feet tall. She eventually made a successful transition to adult roles, rebooting her career on television. Child actor Ronald Sinclair had once co-starred with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, in MGM's Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937). After two more films he quit acting, and later served in the Army during the war. In the 1950s, Sinclair became a busy film editor, cutting or supervising many horror and science fiction movies for the prolific producer-director Roger Corman.
Five Little Peppers In Trouble

Five Little Peppers in Trouble

Columbia didn't follow the original storylines in Margaret Sidney's vintage Little Peppers books because the conflicts were considered too small in scale -- one book was concerned with Polly's need for a new pair of shoes. The final series episode Five Little Peppers in Trouble (1940) drops the quaint Little Women- like format extolling the virtues of the impoverished but harmonious Pepper home. The Pepper children instead move into the fancy Landsdowne Boarding School and struggle with unpleasant fellow students. Polly (Edith Fellows) and the other children accompany their friend Jasper King (Ronald Sinclair) to the school, to help him hide from a legal custody suit put forth by a troublemaking aunt. Fellows' real life may have inspired the child custody idea, as she herself had undergone a court battle between relatives after control of her income. At Landsdowne the Pepper kids are separated by age and harassed by their new classmates. Little Phronsie's (Dorothy Ann Seese) mandated cute interludes are untouched, but Polly endures the mean-spirited provocations of a clique of rich girls. In a rather dark turn of events, the brat ringleader June (Shirley Mills) tricks two girls into diving into an empty swimming pool, and then frames Polly for the crime. Continuity-wise, Five Little Peppers in Trouble would seem to have been released out of order. It ends with the happy Peppers leaving for Paris, and the earlier picture Out West with the Peppers (1940) begins with the family returning from overseas. The short-lived Little Peppers series may have been cut short because the contract of its star Edith Fellows came to an end in 1941. Some of the other child actors continued to make a few movies, but the 18-year-old Edith was reportedly not in demand for older parts because she was under five feet tall. She eventually made a successful transition to adult roles, rebooting her career on television. Child actor Ronald Sinclair had once co-starred with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, in MGM's Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937). After two more films he quit acting, and later served in the Army during the war. In the 1950s, Sinclair became a busy film editor, cutting or supervising many horror and science fiction movies for the prolific producer-director Roger Corman.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Five Little Peppers at School. In the onscreen credits, each of the actors who plays a member of the Pepper family speaks their character's name. A Hollywood Reporter production chart adds Victor Kilian to the cast, but his particpation in the released film has not been confirmed. This was the last of the "Five Little Peppers" series. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and for Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.