Cast & Crew
Edie Moseley is the poorest child in her Ozark Mountain school, and is constantly getting in trouble for responding to other children's taunts. Her precociousness and her utter devotion to her ailing mother, who might die at the slightest shock, lead Edie to lie constantly. Instead of telling her of her troubles, she tells her mother that the teacher, Miss Trent, thinks she is the best student in the school. When Edie finds out that no one put a Valentine in the box for her at school, she cuts pictures out of her new school book and makes dozens of Valentines addressed to herself. Miss Trent attempts to tell Edie's mother of her problems, but Edie prevents her. The school board wants to send Edie to a county boarding school, but Tom Bolton, a transplanted city man and the editor of the town paper, promises to take custody of Edie and teach her proper behavior. Tom, meanwhile, is preoccupied with convincing his city girl friend, Gail Rogers, to marry him and take up mountain life, but she is unimpressed with his lackadaisical life, believing he is wasting his talents by not pursuing a business career. Edie is humiliated and sent home on the day of her school recital when the owner of the general store accuses her of wearing a dress that her grandmother stole from his store. Granny, who indeed stole the dress, is arrested, and after Edie threatens the head of the school board with a gun, he calls an emergency meeting of the board in which they decide to send Edie to the county home immediately. Edie tells her mother that she is being sent away to school because she is so smart and although broken hearted about leaving her mother alone, is taken away. At the county home, Edie becomes a somber child who does not cry even when Tom and Gail arrive to tell her that her mother has died. Later, however, Gail and Tom marry and adopt Edie, and a happy mountain family is formed.
A. M. Botsford
A. E. Freudeman
Michael L. Simmons
The working title of the film was The Good for Nothing. According to Paramount records, Michael Simmons was not originally slated to receive an onscreen screenplay credit, but was granted it after it was determined that he had contributed over 25% to the screenplay. Contemporary news items include in the cast Dick Mathis, Norman Salling, Al Hill Jr., Gloria LaVerne and Charles Quigley, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to copyright records, the schoolyard scene was filmed in Pine Knot and Big Bear Valley, CA. Other scenes were also filmed in Big Bear Valley.