Originally filmed with Mary Pickford in 1917, the Kate Douglas Wiggin children's classic Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was remade as a talkie in 1932. Though a bit long in tooth to play the leading character, Marian Nixon (replacing a recalcitrant Janet Gaynor) makes a charming Rebecca. Placed in the custody of her wealthy, spiteful old Aunts Miranda (Louise Closser Hale) and Jane (Mae Marsh), the heroine eventually wins the two biddies over with her relentless good nature, charm and optimism. She also reforms avowed atheist Zion Simpson (Alan Hale), convincing the old reprobate to marry his common-law wife (Eula Guy). As a reward for all her good works, Rebecca wins the love of local doctor Ladd (Ralph Bellamy). An in-name-only adaptation of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was filmed six years later, with Shirley Temple in the lead.
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