Greatest Film Scenes
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The Littlest Rebel (1935)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Littlest Rebel (1935)

In director David Butler's musical comedy (often computer-colorized), a Civil War saga with child star Shirley Temple:

  • the scene of six-year old Southern plantation-dwelling daughter Virginia "Virgie" Cary (Shirley Temple) at her birthday party, where the Cary's black house slave Uncle Billy (vaudeville and musical stage star Bill "Bojangles" Robinson) tap-danced for the young guests in the dining room, to the harmonica-played tune of "Turkey In The Straw"
  • Virgie's defiant, spunky and spiteful shooting of her sling-shot at approaching Union commander Colonel Morrison (Jack Holt), and then bragging to him: "I'm a Confederate" - he responded: "So you're a little rebel, eh?"; she repeated her identity, with her arms firmly resting on her small hips: "I'm not a rebel. My daddy said so. I'm a Confederate"; she also taunted him by marching back and forth while singing the southern tune "(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land"
  • her tap-dancing with Uncle Billy in a slave cabin (with a harmonica playing "Turkey in the Straw")
  • her singing of "Polly Wolly Doodle" (with Uncle Billy accompanying her on the banjo) outside the jail where her Confederate officer father Captain Herbert Cary (John Boles) was incarcerated; she also reprised the singing of "Polly Wolly Doodle" as the film concluded
Tap-Dancing to
"Turkey in the Straw"
"Polly Wolly Doodle"
'Challenge' Tap Dance: "She and I"
  • also, Virgie's "challenge" tap-dancing in the public square with Uncle Billy to the tune of the song "She and I" - including their tap-dancing up and down a short set of wooden, apartment house steps (reprising the staircase scene in The Little Colonel (1935)), followed by their passing of two caps (one Confederate and one Union) in order to acquire money for "railroad fare"
  • her charming of President Lincoln (Frank McGlynn, Sr.) by sharing slices of an apple with him, and prompting him to pardon both Colonel Morrison and her father

"Virgie" Cary
(Shirley Temple)

Uncle Billy (Bill "Bojangles" Robinson) Tap-Dancing

"I'm a Confederate"

President Abraham Lincoln with "Virgie" - Eating Slices of Apple


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