The Littlest Rebel

Critics Consensus

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89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 598

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Movie Info

As the Civil War begins, Confederate officer Herbert Carey (John Boles) joins his regiment, leaving behind his wife and young daughter, Vergie (Shirley Temple), in the care of their slave, Uncle Billy (Bill Robinson). Union forces, led by Col. Morrison (Jack Holt), soon take over the Carey home, unaware that Herbert visits secretly whenever he can. Although Vergie proudly resists Morrison's kindness, when Herbert is caught and accused of spying, she turns to the colonel for help.

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Critic Reviews for The Littlest Rebel

All Critics (9) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Littlest Rebel

  • Dec 25, 2015
    Shirley was 7 when she made this Civil War set film as the daughter of a Confederate soldier. This was the last of four films she made that were released in 1935 and the final of three films that co-starred John Boles. It is good wholesome entertainment with the plucky girl hero. HOWEVER! Except, since the movie is from the point of view of the south with villainous Union officers ruining the way of life of the Southerners, the issue of racism and slavery are brushed under the rug. Bill Robinson sings and dances well with Shirley as nearly a substitute father figure. His character and other minor slave characters are loyal to their rich masters. The slaves are all arch stereotypes with Shirley's young Virginian blithely considering them part of her family and not property. Shirley even appears in blackface to dupe the Union army sacking the valuables from her plantation home! It was a different time, but maybe still very much in some people's memories considering Shirley Temple's popularity, when a good clean family film meant white-washing the real historical issues with a tale, ultimately, of the Great Emancipator pardoning a white Confederate officer because Shirley asks him pretty please. Even today there is a deep racism in this country as if the economy and ethics of slavery is not truly understood as the evil that it was. Or if slavery is understood for an evil thing, some still don't know how to treat large minority populations as fully human, deserving of all the same rights.
    Byron B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2007
    I thought the Little Cololnel was much better - I don't think there was a need for both. And the Abraham Lincoln scene was a little over the top.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer

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