Heidi (1937)

87-88 mins | Drama | 15 October 1937

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HISTORY

According to a HR news item, Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to the book in Sep 1936 from Sol Lesser. The deal included the rights to a screen treatment already in preparation for Lesser. According to an Apr 1937 HR news item, Otto Brower, who was originally scheduled to direct, completed background shots in Switzerland for the film. During production, Mary Nash replaced Violet Kemble Cooper , who was forced to withdraw because of an impending operation, according to HR . Gene Reynolds is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. A HR news item noted that this film, along with Twentieth Century-Fox's Ali Baba Goes to Town , would utilize a new three-tone tinting process, which had been under development for the previous ten months. The process involved a combination of sepia, amber and copper tones for daylight, and blue, orange and copper tones for nighttime. NYT noted that the print shown at the Roxy Theatre in New York was tinted softly in sepia and blue. This film's preview in Glendale, CA on 8 Oct 1937, was attended by Shirley Temple and Jean Hersholt. Jule Styne, in his autobiography, states that he was Temple's vocal coach for this film. According to modern sources, some scenes in the film were shot at Lake Arrowhead, CA, and the cast also included Greta Meyer, Bodil Rosing, Elsa Janssen and Victor Kolberg. Other films and television programs based on the same source include a 1953 Swiss film and its sequel in 1955, ... More Less

According to a HR news item, Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to the book in Sep 1936 from Sol Lesser. The deal included the rights to a screen treatment already in preparation for Lesser. According to an Apr 1937 HR news item, Otto Brower, who was originally scheduled to direct, completed background shots in Switzerland for the film. During production, Mary Nash replaced Violet Kemble Cooper , who was forced to withdraw because of an impending operation, according to HR . Gene Reynolds is listed as a cast member in HR production charts, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. A HR news item noted that this film, along with Twentieth Century-Fox's Ali Baba Goes to Town , would utilize a new three-tone tinting process, which had been under development for the previous ten months. The process involved a combination of sepia, amber and copper tones for daylight, and blue, orange and copper tones for nighttime. NYT noted that the print shown at the Roxy Theatre in New York was tinted softly in sepia and blue. This film's preview in Glendale, CA on 8 Oct 1937, was attended by Shirley Temple and Jean Hersholt. Jule Styne, in his autobiography, states that he was Temple's vocal coach for this film. According to modern sources, some scenes in the film were shot at Lake Arrowhead, CA, and the cast also included Greta Meyer, Bodil Rosing, Elsa Janssen and Victor Kolberg. Other films and television programs based on the same source include a 1953 Swiss film and its sequel in 1955, entitled Heidi and Peter ; a 1955 NBC-TV broadcast, produced and directed by Max Liebman and starring Jeanne Carson, Wally Cox, Elsa Lanchester and Natalie Wood; an Austrian film released in the U.S. in 1968 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films , F6.2098); an NBC-TV special in Nov 1968, directed by Delbert Mann and starring Jennifer Edwards, Michael Redgrave, Jean Simmons and Maximilian Schell; and an NBC television special entitled The New Adventures of Heidi . The Nov 1968 NBC-TV special preempted the end of an exciting football game, which caused much dissatisfaction among viewers who missed an exciting finish and prompted the networks to adopt a policy of never preempting football games again. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Oct 1937.
---
Daily Variety
9 Oct 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Oct 37
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 36
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 37
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 37
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 37
p. 12.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Oct 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jul 37
p. 39.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Oct 37
p. 43.
New York Times
6 Nov 37
p. 14.
Variety
10 Nov 37
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dir of background shots
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus comp and arr--partial score
DANCE
Dances staged by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Heidi by Johanna Spyri (Zurich, 1880).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"In Our Little Wooden Shoes," words and music by Lew Pollack and Sidney D. Mitchell.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 October 1937
Production Date:
17 May--mid July 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 October 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7818
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87-88
Length(in feet):
8,085
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3514
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Heidi, an orphan, is taken by her Aunt Dete to live with her grandfather, Adolph Kramer, because she is going to work for a rich family in Frankfurt. Kramer, a bitter recluse, has lived alone on a mountain outside the Alpine village of Dorflo since his son Tobias married against his will. Although at first Kramer, whom Heidi calls "the grandfather," does not speak to her, he gradually grows to love her. When Pastor Schultz visits to encourage the grandfather to send Heidi to school and church, he angrily sends the pastor away, but after remembering Tobias and the story of the prodigal son, the grandfather takes Heidi to church where they are welcomed into the community. On Heidi's eighth birthday, Aunt Dete abducts her and takes her to Frankfurt to be the companion of Klara Sesemann, an invalid child whose rich father is away on business. Housekeeper Fraulein Rottenmeier wants Klara to remain ill so that Sesemann will think that Klara cannot live without her and so will marry her. Because she thinks that Heidi is uncouth, she pays Dete to take her back, but after Dete leaves, Klara throws a tantrum because she likes Heidi, and Fraulein Rottenmeier agrees that Heidi can stay the night. After Heidi tries to escape, Klara promises that if she is still homesick when her father returns for Christmas in two weeks, she will ask him to send Heidi back. Meanwhile, the grandfather begins the hundred mile journey to Frankfurt on foot. On Christmas Eve, Klara, to her father's delight, walks as the result of Heidi's training and inspiration. Sesemann, having heard of the grandfather's brutal nature ... +


Heidi, an orphan, is taken by her Aunt Dete to live with her grandfather, Adolph Kramer, because she is going to work for a rich family in Frankfurt. Kramer, a bitter recluse, has lived alone on a mountain outside the Alpine village of Dorflo since his son Tobias married against his will. Although at first Kramer, whom Heidi calls "the grandfather," does not speak to her, he gradually grows to love her. When Pastor Schultz visits to encourage the grandfather to send Heidi to school and church, he angrily sends the pastor away, but after remembering Tobias and the story of the prodigal son, the grandfather takes Heidi to church where they are welcomed into the community. On Heidi's eighth birthday, Aunt Dete abducts her and takes her to Frankfurt to be the companion of Klara Sesemann, an invalid child whose rich father is away on business. Housekeeper Fraulein Rottenmeier wants Klara to remain ill so that Sesemann will think that Klara cannot live without her and so will marry her. Because she thinks that Heidi is uncouth, she pays Dete to take her back, but after Dete leaves, Klara throws a tantrum because she likes Heidi, and Fraulein Rottenmeier agrees that Heidi can stay the night. After Heidi tries to escape, Klara promises that if she is still homesick when her father returns for Christmas in two weeks, she will ask him to send Heidi back. Meanwhile, the grandfather begins the hundred mile journey to Frankfurt on foot. On Christmas Eve, Klara, to her father's delight, walks as the result of Heidi's training and inspiration. Sesemann, having heard of the grandfather's brutal nature from Dete, refuses to send her back and, suspecting Fraulein Rottenmeier's scheme, fires her. That night, the grandfather arrives in Frankfurt, but he is arrested when he disturbs people while looking for Heidi. Fraulein Rottenmeier tries to sell Heidi to gypsies, but the grandfather breaks out of jail and rescues her. After he is arrested again, Fraulein Rottenmeier claims that he stole "her" child, but the police captain sends for Sesemann, and the matter is straightened out. Later, Heidi, Klara and Sesemann return to the grandfather's house where they eat with Heidi's friends. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.