Shirley Temple is growing up to be a big little girl. The dimple in the cheek is still there but those knees are losing their contour.
Darryl Zanuck and 20th-Fox recognized the need of transition. Temple is surrounded but not submerged by Academy prize-winners. She comes up smiling through her tears.
The Rudyard Kipling story is an adventure yarn about a young American widow and her daughter who journey to India and the paternal protection of the child’s grandfather, a colonel of a Highland regiment stationed on the frontier. The menace of native insurrection and massacre provides melodramatic suspense.
When open warfare is threatened, the little girl on a peace-pleading mission is delivered into enemy hands. She is the means of reconciling the two factions.
Victor McLaglen as a tough segeant-major creates a splendid characterization of a vigorous warrior whose heart is softened when he becomes the friend and guide of Shirley.