Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: The Little Princess

"The Little Princess" (1939)

In honor of my daughter's fourth birthday today, I am dedicating this film to her. This film is beautifully made, visually delightful, and just such a great story. It includes friendship, romantic love, a kick-a** dance scene, and a little girl's devotion to her daddy. What more can one ask for??

A Little Princess is based on a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel A Little Princess. Its classic children's book and definitely worth the read. I find children's book endearing and have a nice collection of them in my home. I hope one day my daughter would want to read some classic children's books. *smile*

The story is basically about Sara (the name actually means princess) who is sent to Miss Minchin's School for Girls while her father goes off to serve in the military. Sara spends her days trying to cope with missing her father with riding lessons and her friendships with the other girls. Things change drastically for the little princess when Miss Minchin receives news that her father was killed. Not only was he said to be dead but also penniless.
Shirley Temple who plays Sara is an American Icon!
Yes-that is her doll made in her likeness! What I
would give to have one of those treasures!??!

Miss Minchin decides to keep Sara as a servant girl because throwing her into the streets would only make her look bad. Sara works are and tirelessly searches for her father who she believes is not dead at a nearby Veteran's hospital.

Sara is the kind of girl who looks past a person's status (or lack thereof), ethnicity, gender, or age. She befriends those around her and enchants them with her faith in all things possible. One of those friendships is with Ram Dass, an Indian employee played but the incredibly handsome Cesar Romero, who was Cuban in real life.
Ram Dass sees how dreadful the little princess's life has become and after a night of wonderfully magical dreams she wakes up to to warm blankets and a room filled with food and other delights. Setting Sara off to a great mood for the day she goes to Lavinia's (played by Marcia Mae Jones) room to clean the coal and because she was fed up with Lavinia's awful ways, she throws the coal all over her! (don't worry its not hot!)

Miss Minchin's brother "Bertie" played by Arthur Treacher.
 This number always warms my heart!

Miss Minchin goes up to Sara's room to scold her when she finds all these beautiful things up in her room which was dark and dreary. She locks her up and calls the police telling her that she will be arrested. She escapes with her trusty friend and sidekick, Becky (played by Sybil Jason). Unfortunately, Becky gets caught by the police but Sara continues to make a mad dash to the hospital.

Sara bursts in on a visit of Queen Victoria who she eventually shares her story with. The Queen then sends her best man to help little Sara find her father. This next clip speaks for itself. All you daddy's girls out there, keep her hankies close by, it may come in handy!

Sara's father, Captain Crewe played by Ian Hunter

This movie and especially its ending is a reminder of how powerful faith, dreams, friendship, and love are. In particular in the form of a daughter and her daddy. I, too still call my Dad, daddy. Thankfully my little girl adores her daddy and she has been blessed with amazing one too. I must say, she's also crazy about her mama. (Yeah!) The other day she places her cheek next to mine and presses really hard and says, "Mama, we match!".

Oh yes, I love my little princess. She is one of the loves of my life. And today, the celebration of her birth is also the celebration of the day she made me a mother. A magical and blessed day. One that burns brightly in my heart.

Happy Birthday mama's little bunny. I love you! xox

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