Child star Jackie Cooper made a huge impression with performances in Skippy, The Champ and Treasure Island. The ever-professional, always-appealing Cooper would, as a burgeoning teenager, topline several 1930s vehicles showcasing his talent. The 12-year-old played a military school cadet tainted by parental misfortune in Dinky, his name a riff on his character from The Champ. His mother (Mary Astor) is unjustly convicted for a fraudulent bond scam and doesn't want him to know. But word of her imprisonment hits the academy, and a downhearted Dinky goes AWOL to the county orphanage next door, from which he keeps mom in the dark that he's no longer in uniform. From a story in part by John Fante (soon to begin a storied literary and screenwriting career) and with future director Richard Quine as a snobbish fellow cadet, Dinky is sentimental in spades - featuring Henry Armetta as a bumptious yet kindly junkman and a climactic cadets-vs.-orphans football game - but earns its sergeant's stripes as a smile-generating charmer.