Director George Stevens' fourth feature-film effort was a 1935 adaptation of the oft-filmed Gene Stratton Porter yarn Laddie. Set in rural Indiana, the story revolves around the romance between a local farm boy (John Beal) and English-born girl (Gloria Stuart). The lovers are separated during most of the proceedings by their warring families, headed respectively by the young man's remonstrative parents (Willard Robertson and Dorothy Peterson) and the girl's domineering father (Donald Crisp). Ironically, despite the parents' prattling about decency and propriety, it is a family scandal that ultimately provides a happy ending. Good though the "adult" actors are, the film is stolen by little Virginia Weidler, cast as Beal's wise-beyond-her-years kid sister. Previously filmed in 1926, Laddie was remade in 1940, with Tim Holt and Virginia Gilmore in the leading roles.
by Hal Erickson synopsis