Heidi (1937 film)
|Directed by||Allan Dwan|
|Produced by||Darryl F. Zanuck|
Marcia Mae Jones
|Music by||David Buttolph
|Cinematography||Arthur Charles Miller|
|Editing by||Allen McNeil|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||October 15, 1937|
|Running time||88 minutes|
Heidi is a 1937 American dramatic film directed by Allan Dwan. The screenplay by Julien Josephson and Walter Ferris was based on the 1880 children's story of the same name by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. The film is about an orphan named Heidi (Temple) who is taken from her grandfather (Hersholt) to live as a companion to Klara, a spoiled, crippled girl (Jones). The film was a success and Temple enjoyed her third year in a row as number one box office draw. The film is currently available on DVD featuring the original Black and White, and newly colorized version.
Adelheid, called Heidi (Shirley Temple), is an eight year-old Swiss orphan who is given to her grandfather (Jean Hersholt). She is then stolen by her aunt from her mountain-dwelling grandfather (Jean Hersholt) to live in the wealthy Sesemann household in Frankfurt, Germany as a companion to Klara (Marcia Mae Jones), a spoiled, disabled girl. Heidi is unhappy but makes the best of the situation, always longing for her grandfather. When Klara's body and spirits mend under Heidi's cheerful companionship, the housekeeper (who has tried to keep Klara dependent upon her) tries to get rid of Heidi by selling her to the gypsies. Heidi is rescued and reunited with her grandfather.
- Shirley Temple as Heidi, a young orphan living with her hermit-like grandfather in an Alpine hut. She is very happy and adventurous and she loves her grandfather very much.
- Jean Hersholt as Adolph Kramer, Heidi's grandfather who is grumpy at first but learns to love Heidi as his granddaughter.
- Marcia Mae Jones as Klara Sesemann, a kind and crippled rich girl, but very caring, polite, and excited towards Heidi.
- Sidney Blackmer as Herr Sesemann, Klara's doting and busy father who wants nothing but happiness for his daughter.
- Thomas Beck as Pastor Schultz, the pastor of the village who talks to Adolph about Heidi's future.
- Arthur Treacher as Andrews, a butler in the Sesemann household who is always nice to Heidi.
- Mary Nash as Fräulein Rottenmeier, the châtelaine of the Sesemann household who is very mean and strict on Klara's well-being.
- Delmar Watson as Peter, the goat general of Adolph Kramer's and a good friend of Heidi's.
- Mady Christians as Dete, Heidi's self-interested aunt who has taken care of her for 6 years.
- Helen Westley as Blind Anna, Peter's grandmother.
The Alpine scenes were filmed at Lake Arrowhead, California with cast and crew staying in the Lake Arrowhead Hotel or in private chalets. Temple lived in a trailer parked on a hillside and only left it at the very last moment to do her scenes – after her stand-in had finished with lights and sound. Temple had at least eight bodyguards who escorted her to and from the trailer and about the area when necessary.
Temple had strong theatrical instincts. She suggested the musical dream sequence ("In Our Little Wooden Shoes" by Lew Pollack and Sidney D. Mitchell) and its placement in the film (Edwards 107). She developed a very possessive attitude over the scene, correcting the other children when they became confused with the dance steps and arguing back and forth with them. Director Dwan had badges made reading 'Shirley Temple Police' and every child wore one after swearing allegiance and obedience to 'Chief' Temple. Everyone on the set was soon wearing badges with Temple strutting about giving orders to the crew such as "Take that set down and build me a castle." They went along with the game (Edwards 111).
Temple made only one other film in 1937, Wee Willie Winkie. The child actress was growing older and her career flagging when Heidi was filmed, but she retained her position as number one at the box office for the third year in a row.
- Edwards, Anne (1988), Shirley Temple: American Princess, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.
- Windeler, Robert (1992) , The Films of Shirley Temple, New York: Carol Publishing Group