Twelve little girls attend boarding school in a beautiful house in Paris, looked after by a nun, Miss Clavel, and Helene the cook. They are very happy. Every day they go for a walk, enjoying the many sights of the city. Irrepressible Madeline is the littlest, and an orphan. One day she gets appendicitis and is rushed to hospital. She recovers quickly from the operation and is proud of her scar. She sneaks out of her room to visit another patient, Lady Covington, the school's patroness. Sadly the kind old lady soon dies and her grieving husband plans to close the school.
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Madeline returns from hospital just as the Spanish ambassador is moving in next door. Madeline meets his son Pepito and immediately decides the rude boy is a "bad hat". No one notices a sinister man in the bushes taking photographs. Pepito runs wild, frightening the girls with ghost masks, scary voices, and his pet snake - though Madeline is defiantly unafraid. She tricks him into helping her by asking him to be especially quiet one day when Lord Covington is showing some prospective buyers around. Naturally he makes a lot of noise, even setting off firecrackers. The sale of the school is prevented for now.
Pepito's tutor Leopold is a suspicious character, insolent, ignorant and lazy. When he asks Pepito's parents if he can take him to the circus, he is secretly annoyed when they decide to come along. On the same day Miss Clavel takes the girls to the circus, and Madeline spots Leopold and some circus clowns bundling Pepito into a van. She bravely tries to stop them, but is kidnapped herself.
The review of this Movie prepared by Maureen Evans