Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Directed by Allan Dwan
Written by Karl Tunberg and Don Ettlinger from a story by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental
Rebecca Winstead: I’m not a poor child. I’m very self-reliant. My mother taught me to always be that way.
I thought this was one of the better Shirley Temple movies.
Radio producer Tony Kent (Randolph Scott) is in search of Little Miss America for a show due to debut in a week. He is having no luck finding her until Rebecca Winstead (Temple) and her greedy stepfather (William Demarest) turn up. Needless to say, Rebecca fills the bill perfectly. However, there is a miscommunication and Tony’s assistant Orville (Jack Haley) sends her away. Her stepfather decides to turn Rebecca over to her (Great-) Aunt Miranda (Helen Westley) in the country. Tony decides to spend the weekend at his farm which just so happens to adjoin Aunt Miranda’s. There he falls in love with Rebecca and her Aunt Gwen (Gloria Stuart). With Slim Summerville as Miranda’s erstwhile beau and Bill Robinson as Tony’s overseer.
The plot is as per unusual but the songs are unusually catchy, the story moves right along, and the cast of character actors shines. Even Randolph Scott is more relaxed than normally.