Shirley Temple stars in Walter Lang's 1939 'The Little Princess,' an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic, and it's your free movie of the day.

The American-accented Temple is Sara Crewe, the spunky young girl raised in India and left to attend a London seminary for girls when her only parent (played by Ian Hunter) is sent to Africa at the turn of the century to fight in the Boer War. Shirley Temple stars in Walter Lang's 1939 'The Little Princess,' an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic, and it's your free movie of the day.

The American-accented Temple is Sara Crewe, the spunky young girl raised in India and left to attend a London seminary for girls when her only parent (played by Ian Hunter) is sent to Africa at the turn of the century to fight in the Boer War.

Sara's privileged existence at the school is suddenly cut short when news arrives that her wealthy father died in battle, and the severe, status-hungry headmistress Miss Minchin (Mary Nash) renders the now-penniless Sara a servant, forcing her to sleep in the attic and earn her keep instead.

Things never get too dreary that a song can't be sung about it, however. With Temple's apple cheeks and cheery morale, this film is certainly more of a good ship lollipop version than either the book (which is titled 'A Little Princess') or Alfonso Cuarón's 1995 adaptation.

The movie takes liberties to include a side story of Sara playing matchmaker to an adult romance between teacher Miss Rose (Anita Louise) and riding instructor Geoffrey (Richard Greene), and the story's original ending is altered to something a lot more upbeat and, yes, Hollywood. With Cesar Romero as the Indian servant whom Sara befriends next door.

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