"The Little Princess" (1939) is Shirley Temple's Technicolor cinematic debut. Based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's book, the story follows Sara Crewe, played by Temple, as her widowed father, played by Ian Hunter, leaves to fight the war and enrolls her in boarding school. Sara's wealthy status gains her preferential treatment, until reports emerge of Captain Crewe's death. Adding to her grief, the disdainful headmistress, played by Mary Nash, demotes her from royalty to servant. Yet Sara's sweetspirit never loses hope of her father's return.