Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


THE CAPTAIN'S KID (1936). Director: Nick Grinde.

Aunt Marcia Prentiss (May Robson) doesn't want little Abigail (Sybil Jason) hanging around with disreputable Uncle Asa Plunkett (Guy Kibbee) because he drinks too much, among other things. Little Abigail, who sings the title song at one point, importunes kindly Asa to go look for a treasure that he's been talking about for years. A wicked brother and sister team try to take it away from him and Asa winds up getting in trouble with the law. None of it is as serious as it sounds, as this is a light-hearted, overly "cute" film with a couple of mild chuckles now and then. Kibbee and Robson are as good as ever. Jane Bryan of The Old Maid plays Betsy Ann. Mary Treen is the housekeeper, Libby. Sybil Jason is a talented little monkey-face, although some might find that her appeal runs out about halfway through the movie.

Verdict: Paging Shirley Temple! **.


Anonymous said...

Watching the movie today is a good way to realize how much life has changed. Adults were much stricter with children than they are today.

Perhaps, the most memorable scene in the movie is when the aunt bends the child over her knee and gives her a good spanking with her skirt raised on the seat of her white panties. The spanking turns out to be a mistake.

William said...

As it's been a couple of years since I've seen the movie I don't specifically recall the spanking scene, but I do have to agree that life has sure changed a lot since the picture was made -- as has preferred methods of punishing children.

Thanks for your comment.

Douglas said...

I would like to see this movie. Any tips on where it might be available. I have searched the web, but can't find a source.


William said...

Unfortunately this movie seems never to havce had a VHS or DVD release, and I haven't come across copies of it elsewhere. Right now I guess the only way to see it is to catch it on TCM if they ever show it again.