The Little Minister

The Little Minister

The Little Minister is a 1934 American historical drama film starring Katharine Hepburn and directed by Richard Wallace. The screenplay by Jane Murfin, Sarah Y. Mason, and Victor Heerman is based on the 1891 novel and subsequent 1897 play of the same title by J.M. Barrie. The picture was the fifth film adaptation of the works, following four silent film versions. The original novel was the third of the three "Thrums" novels (a town based on his home of Kirriemuir), which first brought Barrie to fame.


Set in rural 1840s Scotland, the film explores labor and class issues while telling the story of Gavin Dishart, a staid cleric who is newly assigned to Thrums' Auld Licht church, and Babbie, a member of the nobility who disguises herself as a gypsy girl in order to interact freely with the local villagers and protect them from her betrothed, Lord Rintoul, who wants to keep them under his control. The townsfolk christen Dishart “The Little Minister” on his arrival because of his youth (this is his first parish) and his short stature. Initially the conservative Dishart is appalled by the feisty girl, but he soon comes to appreciate her inner goodness. Their romantic liaison scandalizes the townspeople, and the minister's position is jeopardized until Dishart's heroism stuns and transforms the hearts of the local villagers.

    More details

    contentLocation Scotland
    director Richard Wallace
    editor William Hamilton
    genre drama historical
    keywords gypsy girl
    musicBy Max Steiner
    producer Pandro S. Berman
    publisher RKO Pictures
    theme silent