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Heidi (1937)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 18,106

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Movie Info

Johanna Spyri's perennial children's favorite Heidi was retailored to the talents of Shirley Temple, resulting in one of her best vehicles. Orphaned early in the proceeding, Heidi is left in the care of her bitter, misanthropic grandfather Adolph Kramer (Jean Hersholt). It doesn't take long before the sweet little child has melted grandpa's hardened heart, and the two "outcasts" become inseparable. But things take a sinister turn when Heidi's cruel and avaricious aunt (Mady Christians) kidnaps


Drama, Kids & Family, Classics

Walter Ferris, Julien Josephson

Jan 29, 2002

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Watch It Now


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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (0) | DVD (6)

Like all Shirley Temple stories, Heidi traces the reaction of human wickedness to the Temple dimples; unlike many of them, it has a craftsmanlike dramatic structure.

December 5, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's far from being a personal work, but as always with Dwan, it's the best movie imaginable from the limited material at hand.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Classic Shirley Temple film promotes positivity.

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Decent film with some inventive scenes, and values that still echo today.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Under Dwan's capable hands, this so-so children's story classic by Johanna Spyri comes out much better than expected.

April 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This classic children's film, expertly directed by Allan Dwan, is wonderfully entertaining, with moppet Temple at her adorable best.

December 19, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's depressing material, but Temple's universal warmth and appeal -- as well as Dwan's skill -- make it work.

October 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Call me a sap, but Temple gets to me.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

One of Temple's best, thanks to Dwan's lucid direction.

March 26, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

not bad, as Temple fare goes

July 29, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Audience Reviews for Heidi

There aren't many classic films that are very appropriate for children as well as adults, and this is considered one of the more happy and family friendly choices in film history. Of course it significantly helps that the lead is Shirley Temple, the most adorable springy haired child in the history of cinema. Feeling as happy go lucky as a Frank Capra film, "Heidi" is one of the more popular adaptations of the book, and has the same kind of plot that made "The Little Princess" immensely popular. Both star Temple, both have the lead character kidnapped and trapped under the watchful eye of a wealthy benefactress, and eventually they find their loved ones and go back to them. Besides being about the troubles that a small Swiss mountain girl gets herself into, it is also about her cheerfulness eventually warming the heart of her curmudgeon grandfather. Temple and Hersholt's performances are really quite heartwarming, as they find each other after having such hard and intolerable misfortunes, and fight to stay together even when Heidi is eventually kidnapped by her aunt and sold to a widower and his crippled daughter. Of course, what makes this film a bit saccharine with its sweetness is the intolerable cuteness that Temple exaggerates at every turn. She isn't exactly off-putting with her schmaltzy adorableness, but between the dimples and cutesy voice it becomes difficult to imagine that the film is set in the Swiss Alps and not on a Californian soundstage. Still, it's not common to watch films that are made to be watched by children and for children and yet see an intelligence and happy energy to it. "Heidi" may be a tad flawed compared to its literary counterpart, but it's oh so entertaining.
July 26, 2013

Super Reviewer

My first Shirley Temple film, and very likely my last. I cannot for the life of me figure out the appeal of Shirley Temple. I find her cloying and irritating, and unlike many, I don't think she sings or dances very well. But since "Heidi" was one of my favorite books as a child, I thought I'd give it a chance . I loved the book because of the imagery it put in my head -- of the old grandfather, the mountains, the cabin, and Heidi's friendship with Peter the Goatherd. This film only barely touched on those things, and only concentrated on Shirley/Heidi's sickenly-perky, curly-headed form. Watched about 1/2 of it and couldn't take anymore. Maybe this isn't one of her better vehicles, but I remain unimpressed with Miss Temple and her "talents."
November 26, 2010

Super Reviewer

Heidi is The Pride of Switzerland.
December 2, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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