25 Most Memorable Shirley Temple Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

Throughout the 1930s, if there was a popular children’s book made into a film, Shirley Temple was the obvious choice to star in. It was actually the third film version of Kate Douglas Wiggins’ beloved 1903 novel, “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” and by far the best-known, thanks to Temple’s involvement.

Directed by Allan Dwan, it stars Temple as Rebecca Winstead, a gifted orphan living with her grumpy stepfather, Harry Kipper (William Demarest). After mistakenly believing she had failed an audition for a radio commercial, Harry sends her to live with his Aunt Miranda (Helen Westley) at Sunnybrook Farm. Aunt Miranda despises show business and aims to keep her niece out of the business. But advertising executive Tony Kent (Randolph Scott) wants to hire Rebecca for this radio campaign and desperately searches for her without realizing that she lives on the farm next to his. Things are further complicated by Tony’s romance with Rebecca’s cousin, Gwen (Gloria Stuart, who played the older version of Rose in “Titanic”).

“Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms” almost functions as a tribute to Shirley Temple, with many of her best moments referencing memorable scenes from her other films. In an instant, Temple performs a medley of some of his greatest hits, including “On the Good Ship Lollipop”, “Animal Crackers in My Soup” and “Goodnight My Love”. In another, she dances on a staircase with Bill Robinson in a scene reminiscent of their famous number in “The Little Colonel” (1935), this time dressed in toy soldiers and stepping on “The Toy Trumpet.”

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