The Littlest Rebel (1935) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Littlest Rebel (1935)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This Shirley Temple offering casts the moppet as the daughter of a Confederate officer who visits with President Lincoln in an effort to get her father released from a Union prison.

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Shirley Temple
as Virginia Houston Cary
John Boles
as Capt. Herman Cary
Jack Holt
as Union Col. Morrison
Karen Morley
as Mrs. Cary
Willie Best
as James Henry
Frank McGlynn Sr.
as President Lincoln
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Critic Reviews for The Littlest Rebel

All Critics (9)

It isn't a very realistic description of the Civil War... However, it gives Shirley and Bill Robinson, at present the screen's most popular combination, a chance to get together over long stretches and do their specialties.

August 12, 2019 | Full Review…

An unenlightened Civil War pic that is all charm and winsome despite its patronizing racial attitudes.

May 15, 2006 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Even without the race problems, it's not that great a tale.

March 28, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Bojangles is great! So's Shirley

December 26, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

One of Shirley's best from her best period and her best director.

December 29, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

Shirley stomps up a storm in a typical vehicle

August 4, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Littlest Rebel

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 Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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 Prisbylla
Sarah Prisbylla

Super Reviewer

The Littlest Rebel Quotes

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