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Wee Willie Winkie is a 1937 American adventure film directed by John Ford. 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.

Plot

During the British Raj, Sergeant Donald MacDuff escorts Joyce Williams, an impoverished widow, and her young daughter, Priscilla, to a remote military outpost on the northern frontier of India, to live with her stern father-in-law, Colonel Williams. Along the way, they witness the capture of notorious rebel chief Khoda Khan.

Soon, Priscilla, nicknamed 'Wee Willie Winkie' by MacDuff, wins the hearts of all the soldiers, especially her grandfather and MacDuff; even Khoda Khan is touched by her visits to cheer him up in his captivity. Meanwhile, her mother is courted by Lieutenant Brandes.

Khoda Khan is rescued by his men in a daring night raid and a fight breaks out. MacDuff is fatally wounded while out on patrol. He passes away in the hospital while Priscilla sings "Auld Lang Syne" to him.

Priscilla decides to persuade Khoda Khan to stop fighting when Mohammed-din, a soldier who is actually Khan's spy, smuggles her out of the base and takes her to the rebel mountain fortress. Khoda Khan is greatly pleased; he thinks that the colonel will bring his entire regiment in a hopeless attempt to rescue her.

Colonel Williams halts his force out of range and walks alone to the entrance. A few of Khan's men start shooting at Williams, and Priscilla rushes to her grandfather's side. Impressed by the colonel's courage and overcome with empathy for the child, Khoda Khan orders his men to stop firing. He agrees to negotiate and the war ends.

Cast

  • Shirley Temple as Priscilla 'Winkie' Williams
  • Victor McLaglen as Sergeant Donald MacDuff
  • C. Aubrey Smith as Colonel Williams
  • Cesar Romero as Khoda Khan
  • June Lang as Joyce Williams
  • Michael Whalen as Lieutenant 'Coppy' Brandes
  • Willie Fung as Mohammed-din
  • David Clyde as Card-playing soldier
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