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Dinky (1935) HD online

Dinky (1935) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama
Original Title: Dinky
Director: Howard Bretherton,D. Ross Lederman
Writers: Harry Sauber,John Fante
Released: 1935
Duration: 1h 5min
Video type: Movie
Mrs. Daniels has been framed on a fraud charge and sent to prison. By bundling her son, Dinky, off to military school, she is able to keep her shame a secret from him. Upon learning the truth, our young hero voluntarily pulls out of the school and takes up residence in an orphanage. But now it's his turn to hide the truth from his mother, by pretending via correspondence that he's still a cadet in good standing.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Jackie Cooper Jackie Cooper - Dinky Daniels
Mary Astor Mary Astor - Mrs. Martha Daniels
Roger Pryor Roger Pryor - Tom Marsden
Henry Armetta Henry Armetta - Tony Karamazo, the junkman
Betty Jean Hainey Betty Jean Hainey - Mary (as Betty Jean Haney)
Henry O'Neill Henry O'Neill - Colonel Barnes
Jimmy Butler Jimmy Butler - Cadet Lane
George Ernest George Ernest - Jojo
Edith Fellows Edith Fellows - Sally
Sidney Miller Sidney Miller - Sammy
Richard Quine Richard Quine - Jackie Shaw
Frankie Genardi Frankie Genardi - Mike Bethaldi, the Italian orphan (as Frank Gernardi)
Clay Clement Clay Clement - Gerald Standish
Addison Richards Addison Richards - District Attorney
Florence Fair Florence Fair - Mrs. Shaw

Reviews: [4]

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    While I'll gladly admit that "Dinky" is a schmaltzy and clichéd film, I still liked it in spite of its shortcomings. I think it's the sort of film that fans of classic Hollywood would enjoy though the rest of the folks out there would probably be far less impressed. What impressed me? Well, for a movie with mostly child actors, the kids did a good job and the director got a lot out of their performances. In addition, the sentimentality of the film is high but not so high that the film suffers. When Dinky is sad, the audience feels sad as well--a sign that the pathos was done right.

    The film begins with Dinky (Jackie Cooper) enrolled in a military school. Unlike many of the kids there, Dinky is a really nice kid--with no a sign of snobbery despite this being an elite school. Dinky is such a stand up guy that he's befriended the kids in the orphanage next door and looks after them as best he can.

    It's good that Dinky is such a well-adjusted and decent kid because he's about to be sorely tested. His mother is unaware that she's been made the 'fall guy' for an unscrupulous boss and when his scheme to defraud the stockholders is discovered, he's gone and she is left holding the bag...and sentenced to prison for fraud. She keeps this from Dinky--telling him she's going to work in Chicago. But, one of the jerky kids at the school discovers her fate and does his best to make Dinky feel unwanted. In response, Dinky moves into the orphanage--after all, the kids there want him!! And, by the end of the film, he's organized the kids without folks to take on the academy's football team. Guess who wins! The film, as I said above, has very good acting for child actors. In addition, there are a lot of nice characters in the film, such as the junk dealer with a heart of gold. Not a great film, but you could certainly do worse!!
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    I thought the acting was pretty good. Especially since it was mostly kids who were acting. I found them both believable and enthralling to watch. The football game between the orphanage and the academy was the highlight of the movie. The junk dealer was especially entertaining. I found this movie humorous and heartwarming. I hadn't seen any Jackie Cooper films, (other than Superman) before this one and I was impressed by his talent. He couldn't have been more than about 12-14 but his presence on the 'silver screen' was dominate nonetheless. He was a very likable character as Dinky Daniels and I look forward to watching some of his other earlier films in the future.
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    Jackie Cooper's pout is the cutest pout in the world, next to Shirley Temple's. If they'd ever made a movie together, the audience would be crying so hard they wouldn't be able to pay attention to the film. In Dinky, Jackie plays a young boy in military school whose mother, Mary Astor, gets sent to jail for a crime she didn't commit. While Mary tries to hide her location from her son, her son tries to hide his location from her. To help her expenses, Jackie leaves military school and enrolls in an orphanage school.

    Sounds like the perfect makings for a tearjerker, and if you're a mother, you probably will reach for your handkerchief a time or two. It's not really as sad as it sounds, though, and most of the movie is enjoyable, since Jackie is such a doll and Mary is the stereotypical suffering mother. If you're a fan of his, or you've never seen one of his movies when he was a child star, you've got to watch it.
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    If it wasn't for the presence of Mary Astor in this overly sentimental drama, I would certainly ranked this as nearly a bomb. Jackie Cooper is sulking nearly as much as he was four years before in his much dated performance in "The Champ", and after one or two sulks, it becomes difficult to tolerate. I certainly have sympathy for the kids situation, dealing with a mother (Astor) who has been wrongly imprisoned for embezzlement and basically lying to her about his leaving military school to attend an orphanage school right next door. Attorney Roger Pryor aids him in the lie, we got a football with Cooper aiding the local orphan in raising money for football uniforms. The discovery of the location of the man who framed after give us hope that she will be released, just in time for the big game where Cooper ends up on the orphans team rather than the military schools.

    The sentimentality of children's movies at the time could sometimes be rather grading for adults and today, they seem quite laughable. Even for those like me who prefer old movies, they are preposterous in story and often cell with overwrought cliches. I don't want I saw this on TCM more than a decade ago, and that time hasn't changed my opinion of this rather funny story that seems like something that Cooper would have been typecast at MGM, not really right for him at the rough and tough Warner Brothers. The characters are written as simply black and white with no grays, with the parents of students deliberately exposing Astor and making judgemental demands of the school administration. The fact that prior age Cooper in his deceit is also absurd.

    Some of the character performances are decent, with Henry Armetta very funny as a junk dealer and James Burke touching as a friendly truck driver who gives Cooper a lift. At times, this seems like an "Our Gang" short mixed in with a Shirley Temple film which is inappropriate for the theme of this particular story. In place of Temple, there's Edith Fellows, a rising child star of the time who plays an orphan with a bit of a crush on Jackie. Fortunately, her scenes are brief otherwise this would even be more cloying than it is with the focus on Cooper. Fortunately, Astor pops up now and then to add some life to an otherwise forgettable soppy mess.