The Little Colonel


1h 20m 1935
The Little Colonel

Brief Synopsis

After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years pass and Elizabeth returns to her home town with her husband and young daughter. The little girl charms her crusty grandfather and tries to patch things up between him and her mother.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Feb 22, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Little Colonel by Annie Fellows Johnston (New York, 1895).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White, Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,345ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In Lloydsburg, Kentucky, in the 1870's, Colonel Lloyd tries to stop his granddaughter Elizabeth from eloping with Jack Sherman, who fought for the North. When he fails to dissuade her, he warns that should she leave, she will never be welcome in his house. The couple elopes, and after six years of life in Philadelphia, they come West to seek their fortune. At a frontier outpost, their daughter Lloyd is declared an honorary colonel. Jack goes off to prospect for gold, while Elizabeth, with Lloyd, returns to the cottage her mother left her in Lloydsburg. Colonel Lloyd, upon learning that he has a new neighbor, brings flowers as a welcoming gift, but when he sees that the neighbor is his daughter, he throws the flowers down and leaves without a word. After she sees her mother crying, Lloyd learns about the past from the cook, Mom Beck, who points out that all the Lloyds are stubborn. As Lloyd makes mud pies with two black children on the colonel's property, he pokes her with his stick. She then gets angry and throws mud on his white suit. The colonel chases her, and she hides behind Mom Beck, who tells him that she is Lloyd Sherman. Colonel Lloyd then apologizes, and Lloyd calls him "grandfather." Meanwhile, Swazey, who encouraged Jack in his quest for gold, shoots some gold from a rifle into a rock and then convinces Jack to buy the land on which the rock sits. After seeing a baptism, Lloyd steals some sheets from the colonel's bed and baptizes her young black friend. The colonel comes upon them and takes her to his house to get her clothes dried. Lloyd dresses in a fancy Southern dress from a trunk in the attic, and as she sings a song which her mother taught her that her grandmother used to sing, the colonel imagines his deceased wife accompanying her on the harp. During a Civil War game that they play with toy soldiers, the colonel and Lloyd argue about which salute is the proper one, Union or Confederate. As the argument gets heated, the colonel knocks Lloyd's soldiers off the table, and Lloyd knocks the table over. He then warns her that unless she learns to control her temper she will face much unhappiness, and she agrees to try if he will. Jack returns broke and ill with a fever. The doctor convinces Elizabeth to overcome her pride and send Lloyd to live with the colonel until Jack gets well, but after a confrontation with her grandfather, Lloyd wants to go home. When a representative from the Union Pacific Railroad visits Jack and offers $5,000 for the right-of-way through his property, Jack excitedly sends Elizabeth to the bank to get the deed. Swazey and his partner Hull arrive while she is away and try to buy the deed for what Jack paid them. Jack refuses and they wait for Elizabeth's return. Lloyd comes back to the house and overhears Swazey threaten to kill her father. She then runs through the scary woods to find her grandfather at the overseer's house, but he refuses to help until she calls him a wicked, hateful old man and says that she never wants to see him again. He then rides back with her, and they arrive just as Swazey gets the deed from Elizabeth. The colonel shoots a gun out of Hull's hand and turns the pair over to the sheriff. He then hugs his daughter and shakes hands with Jack. At a celebration that follows, Lloyd gives the colonel the Confederate salute, and he returns the Union one.

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Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Feb 22, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Little Colonel by Annie Fellows Johnston (New York, 1895).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White, Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,345ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to Daily Variety, Irving Cummings was set to direct this film, but he instead was assigned to direct retakes of East River, which was released as Under Pressure (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4845), and David Butler replaced him shortly before production began. According to Film Daily, because of his work in this film, Bill Robinson was later assigned to In Old Kentucky (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2119). The final sequence of this film, the celebration, was shot in Technicolor. According to New York Times, the sequence, which appears to have been photographed outdoors, but actually was shot in an enclosed stage, presented a problem in that Shirley Temple's dress seemed to change color as she moved across the stage.