The Law of Contact

The Little Princess (March 17, 1939)

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Shirley Temple in The Little Princess
 

Released March 17, 1939: (running time 93 minutes) A wealthy father must go to war, so he puts his little girl in an exclusive private school for girls, run by a nasty headmistress.

Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck

Directed by Walter Lang

The Actors: Shirley Temple (Sara Crewe), Ian Hunter (Captain Crewe), Richard Green (Geoffrey Hamilton), Anita Louise (Rose), Cesar Romero (Ram Dass), Arthur Treacher (Bertie Minchin), Mary Nash (Amanda Minchin), Sybil Jason (Becky), Miles Mander (Lord Wickham), Marcia Mae Jones (Lavinia), Beryl Mercer (Queen Victoria), Deidre Gale (Jessie), Ira Stevens (Ermengarde), E.E. Clive (Mr. Barrows), Eily Malyon (Mrs. O'Connell the cook), Clyde Cook (attendant), Keith Hitchcock (policeman), Will Stanton (stable groom), Harry Allen (stable groom), Holmes Herbert (doctor), Evan Thomas (doctor), Guy Bellis (doctor), Kenneth Hunter (military General), Lionel Braham (Colonel Gordon), Frank Baker (officer), Sidney Bracey (pedestrian talking about the war), Eve Conrad (maid), Robert Cory (policeman), Herbert Evans (orderly chasing Sara), Olaf Hytten (pedestrian talking about the war), Lilyan Irene (maid), Charles Irwin (wounded soldier outside hospital), Patrick X. Kerry (wounded Irishman), Morton Lowry (traumatized soldier), Jean Manners (nurse), Vesey O'Davoren (orderly), Antonia Oland (student), Rita Page (cook's helper Minnie), Hilda Plowright (nurse), Gerald Rogers (pedestrian talking about the war), Leslie Sketchley (policeman), Amzie Strickland (nurse), David Thursby (orderly Sergeant), Clare Verdera (nurse)

 

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The Princess Becomes the Pauper

I am told that virtually every society and religion on earth has a similar concept, or ‘truism’. I grew up in a Protestant Pentecostal family, and as a youngster I learned and quoted the King James Version of the Bible. There is one quote from that Bible that was and still is most famous, so famous for me that I would often quote the words without ever thinking of the meaning.

Today it is fashionable to state this same truth a bit differently and call it the ‘Law of Attraction’ . . . . This truth can be stated many different ways but the way it works is always amazing and revealing. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” . . . . Do you want to be loved by others? . . . . Easy, just love everyone else and it will be returned many times over. Do you want to be paid handsomely for what you do? . . . . Just as easy, pay others handsomely for what THEY do. It is like planting a seed . . . The harvest will come and will have multiplied many times more than the one seed planted.

Of course the opposite also works. Hermann Hesse said it best in the book Siddhartha, “The opposite of every truth is just as true!” . . . . If others are doing wrong to me, it is to my benefit to examine how I am treating others. If I am not being paid handsomely for what I do, how am I treating others when I pay them for what they do?

In this Cinderella-in-reverse story young Sara is the daughter of a very wealthy Englishman who must go to war to protect his business interests in South Africa. Her father places her in the finest private school he can find in London, and provides for her every want and desire before he goes off to war.

Even though Sara is one of the wealthiest young girls in the world, she lives by that one universal truth. She will treat the young working servant girl with respect and as an equal, even though the other rich girls would abuse the poor working girl. When her birthday rolls around Sara purchases gifts for everyone in the school, even gifts for the poor little waif working so hard for so very little.

It looks like little Sara will be receiving a grand harvest of love, respect and good things in return for her efforts. . . . . . But then, in the middle of her birthday party, her world will turn upside down. The nasty, mean owner of the school learns that her father has been killed in battle, and his diamond mines taken over by the enemy. Sara now has no living relatives, and no more money.

For all her goodness and kindness to others, she will now become an indentured servant, working hard, eating little, and enduring verbal abuse from everyone around her. . . . . . It looks like this universal ‘truth’ doesn’t work in the movies . . . . But wait . . . . We aren’t even half way through the story yet . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Ian Hunter and Shirley Temple
Ian Hunter and Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple blows out her birthday candles
Shirley Temple blows out her birthday candles
Shirley Temple as the Little Princess
Shirley Temple as the Little Princess
Anita Louise and Richard Greene
Anita Louise and Richard Greene
Anita Louise and Richard Greene
Anita Louise and Richard Greene
Anita Louise and Richard Greene
Anita Louise and Richard Greene
Anita Louise, Shirley Temple and Mary Nash
Anita Louise, Shirley Temple and Mary Nash
Anita Louise and Shirley Temple
Anita Louise and Shirley Temple
Arthur Treacher and Ian Hunter
Arthur Treacher and Ian Hunter
Arthur Treacher and Mary Nash
Arthur Treacher and Mary Nash
Arthur Treacher and Shirley Temple
Arthur Treacher and Shirley Temple
Arthur Treacher
Arthur Treacher
Beryl Mercer and Shirley Temple
Beryl Mercer and Shirley Temple
Beryl Mercer and Shirley Temple
Beryl Mercer and Shirley Temple
Beryl Mercer
Beryl Mercer
Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero and Shirley Temple
Cesar Romero and Shirley Temple
Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero
Deidre Gale and Marcia Mae Jones
Deidre Gale and Marcia Mae Jones
E.E. Clive
E.E. Clive
Eily Malyon
Eily Malyon
Lionel Braham
Lionel Braham
Mary Nash, Anita Louise and Arthur Treacher
Mary Nash, Anita Louise and Arthur Treacher
Mary Nash and E.E. Clive
Mary Nash and E.E. Clive
Mary Nash and Shirley Temple
Mary Nash and Shirley Temple
Mary Nash in the dream scene
Mary Nash in the dream scene
Mary Nash
Mary Nash
Miles Mander and Cesar Romero
Miles Mander and Cesar Romero
Miles Mander, Shirley Temple and Richard Greene
Miles Mander, Shirley Temple and Richard Greene
Morton Lowry
Morton Lowry
Patrick X. Kerry and Shirley Temple
Patrick X. Kerry and Shirley Temple
Richard Greene and Anita Louise
Richard Greene and Anita Louise
Richard Greene kisses Anita Louise
Richard Greene kisses Anita Louise
Richard Greene
Richard Greene
Shirley Temple and Arthur Treacher
Shirley Temple and Arthur Treacher
Shirley Temple and Ian Hunter
Shirley Temple and Ian Hunter
Shirley Temple and Ian Hunter
Shirley Temple and Ian Hunter
Shirley Temple and Mary Nash
Shirley Temple and Mary Nash
Shirley Temple and Richard Greene
Shirley Temple and Richard Greene
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Sybil Jason
Sybil Jason
Sybil Jason and Shirley Temple
Sybil Jason and Shirley Temple