Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

    There are 7 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by chester7777.

    • Wee Willie Winkie (1937)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Cherubic, adorable, and precocious Priscilla Williams lives in Colonial India with her dad,
      a Colonel, and mom, Joyce. She is permitted to mingle with the soldiers.
      One day she befriends an Indian by the name of Khoda Khan,
      who in turn tells her about a prisoner named Mohammaudin.
      She meets with this prisoner, and finds him quite approachable and friendly.
      Then Mohammaudin breaks out, and joins a band of militants who are all set
      to attack the British forces. Fearing loss of lives,
      Priscilla sneaks into the camp of this band, locates Mohammaudin,
      who is their leader, and attempts to try and talk him out of attacking the British.
      She does not know that Mohammaudin and his men have plans to use her as bait
      in order to force the British to give in to their demands.
      Written by rAjOo )

      Full Cast
      Shirley Temple ... Priscilla Williams
      Victor McLaglen ... Sergeant MacDuff
      C. Aubrey Smith ... Colonel Williams
      June Lang ... Joyce Williams
      Michael Whalen ... Coppy - Lieut. Brandes
      Cesar Romero ... Khoda Khan
      Constance Collier ... Mrs. Allardyce
      Douglas Scott ... Mott
      Gavin Muir ... Captain Bibberbeigh
      Willie Fung ... Mohammet Dihn
      Brandon Hurst ... Bagby
      Lionel Pape ... Major Allardyce
      Clyde Cook ... Pipe Major Sneath
      Bunny Beatty ... Elsie Allardyce (as Lauri Beatty)
      Lionel Braham ... Major General Hammond
      Mary Forbes ... Mrs. MacMonachie
      Cyril McLaglen ... Corporal Tummel
      Pat Somerset ... Officer
      Hector Sarno ... Driver
      Lynn Bari ... Crowd Scene Participant (uncredited)
      David Clyde ... Card Playing Soldier (uncredited)
      Herbert Evans ... Soldier (uncredited)
      George Hassell ... Major MacMonachie (uncredited)
      Noble Johnson ... Sikh Policeman (uncredited)
      Frank Leigh ... Rajput Merchant (uncredited)
      Scotty Mattraw ... Merchant (uncredited)
      Lal Chand Mehra ... Servant (uncredited)
      Jack Pennick ... Soldier (uncredited)
      Gurdial Singh ... Servant (uncredited)
      Harry Tenbrook ... Soldier (uncredited)
      Louis Vincenot ... Captured Afghan Chieftain (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Ernest Pascal (screen play) and
      Julien Josephson (screen play)
      Rudyard Kipling (based upon the story by)
      Mordaunt Shairp contributor to screen play construction (uncredited)
      Howard Ellis Smith contributor to screen play construction (uncredited)

      Original Music
      Alfred Newman

      Arthur C. Miller

      The original story by Rudyard Kipling was about a boy, Percival Williams, but this was changed to a girl, Priscilla Williams, in order for Shirley Temple to play the role

      Memorable Quotes
      Priscilla Williams: [on her new nickname] Wee Willie Winkie.
      It does sound like a soldier, doesn't it?
      Sgt. Donald MacDuff: Aye.
      Priscilla Williams:
      Then I'd be Private Winkie!
      Sgt. Donald MacDuff:
      Private Winkie it is. A full-fledged soldier of the Queen!

      Filming Location
      Iverson Ranch - 1 Iverson Lane, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: John Ford- Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

      Wee Willie Winkie is a 1937 American adventure film.
      The screenplay by Julien Josephson and Ernest Pascal was based on a story by Rudyard Kipling.
      The film stars Shirley Temple, Victor McLaglen, and Cesar Romero
      in a story about the British presence in nineteenth century India.
      The production was filmed largely at the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif.,
      where a number of elaborate sets were built for the movie.
      William S. Darling and David S. Hall were nominated
      for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

      User Review
      27 February 2009 | by lugonian (Kissimmee, Florida)

      WEE WILLIE WINKIE (20th Century-Fox, 1937), directed by Academy Award winning John Ford, stars Shirley Temple in possibly her most prestigious film of her career. Capitalizing on the current trend of military themes as THE LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER (Paramount, 1935), THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (Warners, 1936), and later the most popular, Rudyard Kipling's GUNGA DIN (RKO, 1939), WEE WILLIE WINKIE, also authored by Kipling, fits well into this category. In spite of Temple's presence, high production values, fine support of Academy Award winning actor Victor McLaglen (RKO's THE INFORMER, 1935), and a well-scripted but leisurely-paced screenplay (by Ernest Pascal and Julian Josephson), WEE WILLIE WINKIE comes close to being overlooked item from cinema history.

      With Temple's previous screen efforts typically casting her as an orphan or child of a widowed parents who occupies screen time solving problems with feel good intervals of song and dance, WEE WILLIE WINKIE is a welcome change of pace. While Temple doesn't have any real musical interludes, she does acquire one heartfelt moment worth mentioning where she sings "Auld Lang Syne" to a dying soldier. Of her two 1937 releases, HEIDI, based on the literary work by Johanna Spyri, appears to be most admired mainly because it gears mostly towards the interest of children while WEE WILLIE WINKIE appears to be more of a story for adults. Being the longest (99 minutes, though road show version was reportedly at 105 minutes) of Temple's feature length films of the 1930s, WEE WILLIE WINKIE contains more ingredients of a John Ford movie than Temple's. Regardless, the chemistry of both blends in nicely into the scenario. Temple would work under Ford again in FORT APACHE (RKO, 1948) with McLaglen in the supporting cast.

      Plot summary: The year is 1897. Joyce Williams (June Lang), a young widow unable to support herself and her daughter, Priscilla (Shirley Temple), in America, are sent by her father-in-law, Colonel Williams, to live with him on his British Army Base. Arriving by train to Raj Pore station in Northern India, they are greeted by Sergeant McDuff (Victor McLaglen) to escort them via coach to their destination. Before departure, Priscilla witnesses the arrest of Khonda Khan (Cesar Romero), the rebel leader responsible for the smuggling of guns belonging to her grandfather's regiment. Having dropped his sacred charm, Priscilla runs over return "the necklace" back to him. Khan, dangerous and handcuffed, shows gratitude towards this "strange child" as he is taken away by authorities. During her stay at the post, Priscilla meets Branders (Michael Whalen), a young lieutenant she calls "Coppy" (whose hair, as she described, shines like a copper penny). Feeling her grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith) doesn't like her McDuff, at Coppy's request, shows Priscilla the procedures on becoming a good soldier. Providing her a junior-sized uniform, much to the dismay of drummer boy, Mott (Douglas Scott), McDuff renames his little soldier, "Wee Willie Winkie." With an uprising leading to the prison escape of Khonda Khan and the death of Sergeant McDuff, war is officially declared, causing "Wee Willie Winkie" to try and make peace before any more men are killed.

      While Temple dealt with grumpy grandfathers before, Lionel Barrymore being her best encounter in THE LITTLE COLONEL (1935), C. Aubrey Smith fits the bill as her military-minded grandfather with little time for his grandchild. Cesar Romero, believable as Konda Khan, gives a remarkable performance. He would assume another recognizable, but less threatening role, opposite Temple once more in THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1939). Military formation and the lives of British soldiers take precedence over the romantic subplot between June Lang and Michael Whalen that has been kept to a minimum. Others in the cast include Constance Collier (Mrs. Allardyce); Lauri Beatty (Elsa Allardyce, her daughter); Willie Fung (Mohammed Dihn); Brandon Hurst (Bagby); Lionel Pape (Major Allardyce); Mary Forbes (Mrs. MacMonachie), and John Ford regular, Jack Pennick, as one of the soldiers.

      A successful film in its day, WEE WILLIE WINKIE was later reissued at 77 minutes, the print most commonly used on commercial television prior to 1985. It wasn't until around 1987 when WEE WILLIE WINKIE was available close to its theatrical length when distributed on home video. In recent years, the 99 minute version became available on numerous cable stations, including The Disney Channel (colorized, 1990s); American Movie Classics (1996-2000) and Fox Movie Channel. It's availability on DVD contains the choice of both colorized and black and white formats.

      While Temple may seem to be an unlikely candidate on a military base in far away India wanting to become a good little soldier, she's certainly one who hasn't lost her appeal in the rank as "Wee Willie Winkie." (***1/2)
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: John Ford- Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

      This is actually a pretty great film -- really more a John Ford movie that stars Shirley Temple than "a Shirley Temple movie." From what I've read, Ford was reluctant to make Wee Willie Winkie but Temple charmed the crusty director, who of course cast her as Philadelphia Thursday (what a name!) in Fort Apache. Ford biographer Joseph McBride felt he should have won an Oscar for his direction of Wee Willie Winkie.
    • Re: John Ford- Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

      Paula wrote:

      This is actually a pretty great film -- really more a John Ford movie that stars Shirley Temple than "a Shirley Temple movie."

      Interesting you would say that, Paula. For us, since it is in our "Shirley Temple" collection of movies, we consider it a Shirley Temple movie (and it is one of several movies in a Shirley Temple series, sold as a set), but for someone who was more of a John Ford follower, it would certainly be a John Ford film.

      We have movies on our shelf, with John Wayne, that are not among our favorites, yet we have them, because they are "John Wayne movies"!

      Thanks for sharing that perspective!
    • Re: John Ford- Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

      Chester, I have several sets of Shirley Temple movies -- all those pink box sets released by 20th Century Fox -- and as you can imagine, lots and lots of John Ford movies. And having seen all those Shirley Temple movies, and all those John Ford movies -- Wee Willie Winkie is definitely a John Ford movie that stars Shirley Temple. (Which probably meant that all the Shirley Temple fans would see it -- probably most of them didn't care who directed her films.) Joseph McBride in his Ford bio quotes Darryl Zanuck as stating that they very deliberately planned for it to be a Ford film, but just one that happened to be told from a child's point of view. Here's the quote: "My idea about doing this picture is to forget that it is a Shirley Temple picture. That is, not to forget that she is the star, but to write the story as if it were a Little Women or a David Copperfield...All the hokum must be thrown out. The characters must be made real, human, believable...and it must be told from the child's viewpoint, through her eyes."

      McBride goes on to write, "Wee Willie Winkie provides a case study of how Ford approached what could have been a potboiler and infused it with his own artistic sensibility. If there were any real justice in Hollywood, Ford would have won an Oscar for a film such as this one, whose truly superior craftsmanship is all the more impressive for seeming so effortless. With larger-than-life romanticism, Ford deftly creates a child's storybook vision of the world, then introduces unexpectedly touching moments as reality impinges on the consciousness of the innocent protagonist. This stylized feeling was heightened in the film's original release by tinting the daytime scenes sepia and the nighttime scenes blue, reviving a practice from the silent cinema. In one shot of breathtaking beauty, Priscilla, left behind in a mountain tent, watches through a translucent veil as the rebel horsemen ride off to battle; it is as if the child is seeing the events of her life projected on her own inner movie screen."

      There's a lot more about Ford's style and themes infused into Wee Willie Winkie but you get the drift. ;) It is visually such a lovely movie -- I can think of all sorts of shots that linger in my memory. It's not just a skillfully-made piece of popular entertainment, like many of Temple's films, it's a real work of art.

      And Victor McLaglen as Sergeant MacDuff and Cesar Romero as the Afghan leader Khoda Khan nearly steal the whole thing! ;) They're both absolutely wonderful.

      I probably have several hundred DVDs of movies that aren't all that great, but I bought because they star a favorite actor or were directed by a favorite director, even if this or that movie wasn't his best work. :)