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Little Pioneer (1937)

In 1880 South Africa, young Betsy has an adventure involving Zulu Tribesmen, Dutch Settlers, The Vortrekkers, and her older brother's romance of Katie Snee.


Bobby Connolly


Anthony Coldeway (original story and screenplay)


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Credited cast:
Sybil Jason ... Betsy Manning
Jane Wyman ... Katie Snee
Carlyle Moore Jr. ... Arthur Manning
Frederick Vogeding Frederick Vogeding ... Peter Snee, Katie's Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bodil Rosing ... Mama Snee, Katie's Mother


It's 1880 in Natal, South Africa. Brit Arthur Manning and Dutch Katie Snee are hiding the fact of their relationship from her father, who would disapprove because of the Transvaal War where the Dutch and British are battling over British colonization of the area, especially as Arthur's father is an officer fighting in the war. As Arthur travels ahead to their neighboring farm, he leaves his adolescent sister, Betsy, with the Snees for a few days. During that time, the Snees and Betsy learn that Betsy's father was killed in battle moving toward them. Because of the impending fighting in their area, the Snees and Betsy, along with other Dutch settlers, pack up and move toward safer territory. When the British, including Arthur, catch up with the traveling Dutchmen, Katie and Betsy get caught in the middle of the larger war happening around them, not only between the British and the Dutch, but both against the marauding Zulus. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

africa | See All (1) »







Release Date:

26 June 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zululand See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #8157-8158 See more »


My Little One
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Performed by Sybil Jason
Also performed by Jane Wyman
See more »

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User Reviews

Decent Short
23 July 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Little Pioneer (1937)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Technicolor short from Warner about rival families who must put their differences behind them when one of their daughters is kidnapped by blood-thirsty tribe. I think a lot of people are going to watch this thing today and question the two white families being "forced" to stick together and fight off the evil black tribe but I don't think this was the original intent so the racial stuff is probably a non-issue. The film takes place in South Africa during 1880 and for the most part I think they got the look right but that's about it. There's very little going on here, story wise, to get overly excited about as we've seen this type of thing before. Naturally, in the two families we have a man who loves a woman on the other side and this just adds drama that we've seen in countless other films. A young Jane Wyman plays the love interest who ends up kidnapped but she gets very little to do. Sybil Jason, Carlyle Moore, Jr. and Frederick Vogeding round out the supporting cast. The Technicolor is certainly another major plus but the two musical numbers add zero as does the majority of the story.

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