MovieChat Forums > Heidi (1937) Discussion > Children Should Be Seen And Not Heard

Children Should Be Seen And Not Heard

I just watched this movie this past week, for the first time. I'm not a Shirley Temple fan, I just wanted to watching something light and different.

Now I am familiar with the story of Heidi, so I could see the alterations here when I had watched all of it.

Even tho the story of Heidi didn't take place in 1937, I do suspect her behavior was definitely going against how it was perceived that children should behave even for that time; you should be seen and not heard.

Order and discipline must be maintained.

Now I can guess that the governess was a bit overboard with her behavior and as you watch the movie, you will wonder if Temple will win her over as she does everyone else.

And yes, Grandfather was knocking on doors and then broke out of jail, so that did make him something of a wanted felon, but the little girl was crying that she belonged with the crazy old man, not the spinster.

Why on earth would the silly policeman believe the old biddy over the crying little girl?

He was actually going to make the girl go with the old crone.

The governess wanted to punish the other girl by taking Heidi away from her; well, grandfather should have been the perfect out for her. They would be seperated.

Oh, she wanted to punish Heidi too?

Woman, get a life and leave these kids alone.

Still, it was an astonishing statement on how far we have come (bearing in mind that a 14-year-old victim had escaped from killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the police returned him to Dahmer, who later killed the poor kid) that the child just wasnt going to be listened to until she finally dropped the respected citizen's name.


I never did like how Fräulein Rottenmeier was portrayed in this movie. But I believe they were trying to make her as disagreeable as possible in as little time as possible by making her the stereotypical disagreeable high bred governess.


She didn't want to just give Heidi to her grandfather because she could get money for her by selling her to the gypsies. I think there's a scene where that transaction nearly takes place.

"Truth is its own evidence." - Ralph Waldo Emerson



Okay, okay. But the money had something to do with it, though it wasn't her highest motivation.

"Truth is its own evidence." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


The way I see it as Long as Clara was confined to the wheelchair she was FR's meal ticket, Heidi, spoiled that for her when she helped Clara walk again. Who knows? maybe Herr Seseman might have kept her on, but thinking she might get let go she blamed Heidi and in a fit of rage smashed her snow globe. Herr Seseman hears this and fires her. So now in FR's mind, It's all Heidi's fault, so as an act of revenge she sells Heidi to the Gypsies, Clara's unhappy, Herr Seseman's unhappy,Heidi's unhappy and FR has some traveling money, and thinking,

And the part about the police, I mean c'mon even if the little girl was lying wouldn't they still want to check it out?


I was thinking about this movie tonight and I agree that it was outrageous that the police didn't believe Heidi until she mentions Herr Sesseman. I don't understand how they could not believe a crying child who insisted that she is not Rottenmeier's child and that she wanted to sell Heidi to gypsies until Herr Sesseman is mentioned. Heidi's making it very clear that Rottenmeier is lying. Also, doesn't Rottenmeier look too old to be the girl's mother?

The police seemed really incompetent up until that point. Earlier in the film, they even threatened to shoot down the carriage the grandfather and Heidi were in, fully aware that a child was in the carriage. Also, I understand why the police put the grandfather in jail, but they should have pardoned him considering that he was very upset because his granddaughter was missing. They wouldn't even help him search for her.

To sum it up, the police almost shot a child and her grandfather, put the only person who was searching for her in jail, didn't search for the child themselves, and almost let Rottenmeier leave with Heidi.


the fact that there is a storyline being sold to the gypsies, just pulled out of someone's backside, makes this film look incompetent