Heidi (1937) - Rotten Tomatoes

Heidi (1937)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Shirley Temple stars as the title character in Heidi, the story of a young girl who is taken away from her kindly grandfather (Jean Hersholt) in the Alps to live with her mean-spirited, cruel aunt (Mary Nash). Almost immediately, her aunt sells her to a wealthy family as a servant girl. As Heidi takes care of the family and their invalid daughter, her grandfather searches Switzerland for her. Heidi has also been released in a computer-colorized print.more
Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Julien Josephson, Walter Ferris
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 29, 2002
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Jean Hersholt
as Adolph Kramer
Helen Westley
as Blind Anna
Thomas Beck
as Pastor Schultz
Mary Nash
as Fraulein Rottenmeier
Sidney Blackmer
as Herr Sesemann
Mady Christians
as Aunt Dete
Sig Rumann
as Police Captain
Marcia Mae Jones
as Klara Sesemann
Delmar Watson
as Peter the Goat Boy
Egon Brecher
as Innkeeper
George Humbert
as Organ Grinder
Greta Meyer
as Village Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Heidi

Critic Reviews for Heidi

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2)

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.

Full Review… | December 5, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Classic Shirley Temple film promotes positivity.

Full Review… | March 20, 2012
Common Sense Media

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

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
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.

Full Review… | April 10, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

Full Review… | December 19, 2006
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.

Spencer S.

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."

Cindy I

Super Reviewer

Heidi is The Pride of Switzerland.

Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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