The Five Little Peppers
Adventure / Comedy / Drama / Family
The Five Little Peppers - This delightful 4 movie family movie series from the 1940's is based on a series of books by Margaret Sidney. It covers the adventures of 5 children of Mamsie & the late Mister Peter who were born into poverty. Plenty of laughs and fun.
The Five Little Peppers book series was created by Margaret Sidney from 1881 to 1916. It covers the lives of the five children of Mamsie and the late Mister Pepper who are born into poverty in a rural "little brown house". The Pepper books were the inspiration for a brief series of feature films produced by Columbia Pictures in 1939-40. The four films were vehicles for Columbia's juvenile star Edith Fellows, who played Polly. The rest of the kids were Charles Peck as Ben, Tommy Bond of "Our Gang" as Davie, Bobby Larson as Joey, and Dorothy Ann Seese as Phronsie.
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1939)
In this, the first entry in four-part series, children's movie, Polly Pepper takes care of her siblings while her mother toils at a factory. Polly's newest friend is Jasper, a rich kid who likes to play with the Pepper kids. Trouble ensues when the littlest Pepper comes down with the measles and infects Jasper and his grandfather, Mr. King. They all wind up stuck together in a quarantined house. After the devoted Polly collapses from working too hard, Mr. King moves the Pepper clan into his mansion. The plucky family finally garners a fortune when it is discovered that Polly has inherited the controlling shares in a mine that the grandfather wants to purchase.
Five Little Peppers at Home (1940)
This time around, Polly and the kids try to figure out a way to save their mother (Dorothy Peterson) from bankruptcy, with the help of crusty-but-lovable Mr. King (Clarence Kolb). After a slow-moving hour or so, the film picks up tremendously in the final reel when the kids are trapped in a copper mine cave-in, sparking a tension-filled rescue effect. A bit too syrupy sweet for modern tastes, Five Little Peppers at Home is redeemed by the cynical performance of Rex Evans as a sneering butler.
Out West with the Peppers (1940)
Once again in dire financial straits, the Pepper family is forced to pull up stakes and head westward. Upon arrival in the Wide Frontiers, the Pepper kids get into mischief in a lumber camp. As usual, the plot is resolved by Edith Fellows as eldest Pepper child Polly, who manages to stumble upon a financial windfall which proves benefical not only to her family but practically everyone else in the film.
Five Little Peppers in Trouble (1940)
Unable to watch over her kids and go to work at the same time, Mrs. Pepper bundles the little Peppers off to boarding school. The Five Little Peppers in Trouble is describable as "cute"; you take it from there. The six are packed off to an elite boarding school. The other students, all rich kids led by queen bee June (Shirley Mills), won't associate with these common public school intruders. Although all six are in the same boat, the focus is almost completely on Polly; Fellows gets to do some singing when they hold tryouts for the school's musical.