|Shirley Temple and Judy Garland, 1940.|
However, in the course of last night's random relaxation viewing, I found myself face-to-face with the ultimate reason why Shirley Temple didn't have to make THE WIZARD OF OZ. Simply put, she had already told that story at least once before - when Allan Dwan directed her in HEIDI (1937), based on Johanna Spyri's classic book.
|Jean Hersholt and Shirley Temple in HEIDI.|
|Klara (Marcia Mae Jones) tries to walk.|
Klara's businessman father Herr Sesemann (Sidney Blackmer) travels a lot, leaving her in the care of the aptly-named Fraulein Rottenmeier (Mary Nash), a strict and creepy spinster who secretly aspires to become the lady of the house.
The similarities between the two films becomes still more blatant when, on Christmas Eve, Heidi is given a snow globe containing a serendipitous likeness of her grandfather's farmhouse with a miniature old man outside it, leaning into the harsh weather while carrying a bundle on his back - providing the child with a visual connection to the life stolen from her. This scene evokes the same emotions as when Dorothy uses the crystal ball in the Wicked Witch's dungeon to summon a sepia image of her Auntie Em. Due to the spitefulness of the witchy Fraulein Rottenmeier, Heidi's snow globe is smashed - a traumatic moment mirroring the shock when Auntie Em's cries are suddenly replaced and mocked by those of the Witch.
|The crystal balls that torment Heidi and Dorothy.|
|Shirley's costume for HEIDI's Little Dutch Girl number.|