Review: ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’

Shirley Temple proves she's a great little artist in this one. The rest of it is synthetic and disappointing. Why they named it Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is one of those mysteries. The only resemblance to Kate Douglas Wiggins' charming comedy is a load of hay, a litter of pigs and Bill Robinson's straw hat.

Shirley Temple proves she’s a great little artist in this one. The rest of it is synthetic and disappointing. Why they named it Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is one of those mysteries. The only resemblance to Kate Douglas Wiggins’ charming comedy is a load of hay, a litter of pigs and Bill Robinson’s straw hat.

More fitting title would be Rebecca of Radio City. The story is about a talented stage child who wins a broadcasting moppet contest, then is lost to the advertising agency in the shuffle and rediscovered at Aunt Mirandy’s farm. The supporting characters, mostly unsympathetic, over-drawn and exaggerated, are familiar types.

Randolph Scott and Jack Haley try to get some excitement and suspense into the search for Shirley. Slim Summerville and Helen Westley manage a few laughs from the old situation of sulking sweethearts.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Allan Dwan; Producer Raymond Griffith; Screenplay Karl Tunberg, Don Ettlinger; Camera Arthur Miller; Editor Allen McNeil; Music Arthur Lange (dir.); Art Director Bernard Herzbrun, Hans Peters

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Shirley Temple Randolph Scott Jack Haley Gloria Stuart Helen Westley Bill Robinson

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