The Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)

The Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)

Synopsis of Movie

That cherubic little charmer Shirley Temple continued to dazzle for 20th Century Fox in this second adaptation of Eleanor Gates’ novel The Poor Little Rich Girl (the first, in 1917, starred Mary Pickford). As always, the tot’s singing and dancing skills were put to good use, teaming her up with Alice Faye and Jack Haley for a series of razzle-dazzle production numbers.

Temple plays Barbara Barry, daughter of widowed soap tycoon Richard Barry. The girl’s nursemaid, Collins, takes her to the train station to send her off for boarding school, but when the nurse gets injured en route, little Barbara is left lost and alone. Far from being terrified, the precocious munchkin takes the opportunity to live out a storybook fantasy, masquerading as an orphan to meet new and interesting people.

Barbara’s charm endears her to a new friend, Tony the organ grinder, and soon the girl tags along to Tony’ boarding house. There she meets Jerry and Jimmy Dolan, a married vaudeville duo who invite the talented tyke to join their act. With this darling new addition, the Dolans win a spot on a radio show, one sponsored by a soap company rival of Barry’s.

The success of The Poor Little Rich Girl further entrenched the superstar reputation of young Shirley Temple, the biggest draw in the Fox talent stable (and, for a time, the biggest star in the world). With musical highlights including “Oh My Goodness,” “When I’m With You,” “You’ve Gotta Eat Your Spinach, Baby” and the final “Military Man” showstopper, The Poor Little Rich Girl remains a prime example of Shirley Temple’s timeless charm.

Movie Release History

1936 - The Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
musical

Movie Studio

20th Century Fox

Cast

Barbara Barry Shirley Temple
Jerry Dolan Alice Faye
Margaret Allen Gloria Stuart
Jimmy Dolan Jack Haley
Richard Barry Michael Whalen
Collins Sara Haden
Woodward Jane Darwell
Simon Peck Claude Gillingwater
George Hathaway Paul Stanton
Tony, the Organ Grinder Henry Armetta
Stebbins Charles Coleman
Percival Gooch Arthur Hoyt
Flagin John Wray
Dan Ward Tyler Brooke
Tony's Wife Mathilde Comont

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