Dimples is a busker - a street entertainer, and lives in mid-19th century New York City's Bowery with her kindhearted but pickpocketing Grandfather, Prof. Eustace Appleby.
Dimples is a talented child and is hired to perform at a party in the home of Mrs. Caroline Drew, an elderly widow living in Washington Square. Dimples delights the gathering and charms not only the elderly mistress of the house but her nephew Allen as well, a theatrical producer betrothed to a lovely society belle.
Allen engages Dimples to perform the role of Little Eva in his production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" while Mrs. Drew makes it possible for Dimples to remain in her genteel home and enjoy its benefits.
Various complications ensue and Dimples bravely makes the decision to sacrifice her happiness to return to her slum dwelling Grandfather. Mrs. Drew traces Dimples's whereabouts and convinces Prof. Appleby that his lovely granddaughter deserves something better than a life of poverty and crime in the Bowery.
The situation is resolved to everyone's satisfaction and the film ends with Dimples performing in New York City's first minstrel show.
Shirley Temple ... Sylvia 'Dimples' Dolores Appleby
Frank Morgan ... Prof. Eustace Appleby
Robert Kent ... Allen Drew
Helen Westley ... Mrs. Caroline Drew
Astrid Allwyn ... Cleo Marsh
Delma Byron ... Betty Loring
Berton Churchill ... Col. Jasper Loring
Paul Stanton ... Mr. St. Clair
Julius Tannen ... Emery T. Hawkins
XVid / MP3
DIMPLES, a precocious little tot in the New York City of 1850, must decide between life with her penniless but charming rogue of a grandfather & a wealthy old lady who loves her.
Shirley Temple, that pint-sized package of amazing talent & energy, delights once again. Her megawatt smile & boundless vivacity are only the outward manifestations of her unique personality & status which still keeps her - after so much time - Hollywood's greatest child star.
Frank Morgan, who had honed his scene stealing techniques for decades before Shirley was born, plays her grandfather. Given good lines, he was the rare actor who could dominate the dialogue even at the mighty tyke's expense. He is constantly entertaining to watch and adds greatly to the enjoyment of the film. His classic role would come a few years later when he was to portray THE WIZARD OF OZ, over at MGM.
The supporting players all give solid performances, most notably Helen Westley & Berton Churchill. John Carradine & ubiquitous child actor Leonard Kibrick both have small roles. Movie mavens will recognize Stepin Fetchit, unbilled as Morgan's servant.
The romantic subplot, consisting of Robert Kent trying to choose between Astrid Allwyn & Delma Byron, is a dull affair - as is usual in most Shirley Temple films.
Shirley sings `What Did The Bluebird Say,' `He Was A Dandy,' and, with The Hall Johnson Choir, `Get On Board, Little Children'. Although he does not appear in the film, the legendary Bill Robinson choreographed Shirley's tap routines; his influence is readily apparent.
It has to be mentioned that there is quite a lot of racism in the film. It should also be noted that this was not an unusual situation in Hollywood films of the 1930's.
All in all this movie is definitely worth watching.