6.1/10
175
10 user 3 critic

The Beloved Brat (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 30 April 1938 (USA)
Drama about a problem child and her problem parents.

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Lawrence Kimble (screen play), Jean Negulesco (from an original story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bonita Granville ... Roberta Morgan
Dolores Costello ... Helen Cosgrove
Donald Crisp ... John Morgan
Natalie Moorhead ... Evelyn Morgan
Lucile Gleason ... Miss Brewster (as Lucille Gleason)
Donald Briggs ... Jerome Williams
Emmett Vogan Emmett Vogan ... Jenkins
Loia Cheaney Loia Cheaney ... Mrs. Jenkins
Leo Gorcey ... Spike Matz
Ellen Lowe Ellen Lowe ... Anna
Mary Doyle Mary Doyle ... Miss Mitchell
Paul Everton ... Judge Henry Harris
Bernice Pilot Bernice Pilot ... Mrs. White
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ... Pinkie White (as Stymie Beard)
Meredith White Meredith White ... Arabella White
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Storyline

Roberta Morgan is being raised in a wealthy-home where her mother is occupied with her society-club activities and her father is immersed in his business activities. She also feels that the hired help and her governess are against her, and, in her mind, only her father's confidential secretary-assistant seems to understand her needs and problems. Her incorrigibility leads to her being placed in a boarding school for problem girls. There, the secretary and the head of the school work a plan to win her over by giving her responsibilities for helping the younger girls in the school. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BELOVED - SHE'S A DARLING YOU WANT TO HUG TO YOUR HEART! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Too Much of Everything See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $50 Roberta receives from her father as a birthday present would equate to over $900 in 2019. See more »

Goofs

In two consecutive scenes between Donald Briggs and Dolores Costello, one interior and then exterior, first the shadow of the mike and then the mike and boom can be seen. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly gritty and relevant today
27 March 2008 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This film is unexpectedly relevant to what is happening today, 70 years later, as the Western world is being flooded with spoilt 'Frankenkinder' and China is being flooded with even more spoilt 'little emperors'. This is a very gritty tale written by the Romanian refugee Jean Negulesco, before he had begun to direct films. Negulesco did not write the script, and I suspect that was softened, and the ending made more sentimental than in his original story, in order to be more 'audience friendly'. Bonita Granville, a highly talented young actress of the time (best known for her four Nancy Drew mystery films, in which she excelled when she was somewhat older), plays the neglected daughter of a truly appalling spoilt rich couple. The mother is the worst sort, many of whom I have had the misfortune to know and who are more common than ever today; her interest is herself, and a child is at best an accessory and at worst a nuisance to be disposed of to servants and then to a boarding school. In her case, however, she did not even have the excuse of being a 'killer career woman', but was merely an idle and vain social snob. The father is only interested in making money, and is always out doing so. This leaves the normally charming Bonita, who has a great deal of fire to her character, to rebel and become in protest a hideously spoilt brat, and eventually even a delinquent entangled in a crime. This process is clearly shown, to a degree not at all normal in Hollywood films, where false sentimentality was the usual way to view children. Bonita Granville rises to the challenge extremely well, not hesitating to make herself as odious as necessary. There is a very wicked butler who torments the girl secretly, there is a very nice male secretary who tries to help her, and eventually an angelic school headmistress who wishes to save her. The film is really a very savage attack on the idle rich and their family victims. Negulesco, who had been a 'companion to rich older women' at Nice before coming to Hollywood, was clearly describing a woman of precisely the type he had known personally, with a rich absent husband and a victimized daughter such as he must have observed at first hand. It is a bitter tale, and honestly done except for the ending.


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