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War Babies (1932)

Passed  |   |  Short, Comedy, War  |  18 September 1932 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 257 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 2 critic

A group of soldiers in a café watch a dancer as she entertains them, but later two of them become rivals over her.

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Title: War Babies (1932)

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Cast

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Storyline

A group of soldiers in a café watch a dancer as she entertains them, but later two of them become rivals over her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Price Gloria?  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shirley Temple said her first line of dialogue in this film. The line, "Oui, mon cher," was a French phrase she did not understand. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Quirt: Hello, beautiful! Now I guess it's just me and my baby, huh?
Captain Flagg: Hey, where'dya get that your baby stuff? She's my gal!
Sergeant Quirt: Says you!
Captain Flagg: [giving Charmaine a lollipop] We'll settle this right now! C'mon, baby, who's the king?
See more »

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User Reviews

Peculiar & Rather Uncomfortable To Watch
9 January 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is a peculiar and rather uncomfortable feature from the early days of Shirley Temple's career. It's rather strange to see such a complete contrast between the innocent, almost syrupy tone of her best-known full-length movies and the risqué, often rather inappropriate nature of many of her early short features. If nothing else, it provides some interesting examples of how the perspectives of the time differed from those of today.

Temple, at four years of age, is part of a cast consisting entirely of equally young children (as was also the case in many of her earliest short movies). She plays a dancer who entertains a group of soldiers in a café, soon becoming the source of a rivalry between two of them. Besides the basic story line, there are a lot of isolated gag ideas, many of them using milk in one way or another.

The children are depicted as thoroughly amoral characters, leading to a lot of situations that the vast majority of today's viewers would find uncomfortable or even disturbing. Certainly, no film-maker today could film such material using children without suffering irrevocable consequences to his or her career. Setting aside whatever one's personal feelings may be, it points out some very different attitudes or sensitivities - and of course, there are things that are routinely accepted in today's movies that would have provoked nearly universal outrage in the 1940s.

If you can set aside the uncomfortable nature of the material, there are probably a handful of amusing moments. The intent was obviously to use the children to satirize adult behavior, and on occasion it works. But, to be painfully honest, it's just not really a very good movie anyway. Besides the racy behavior of the child actors, they threw in some racial stereotypes, apparently just for good measure, and then the constant emphasis on milk is a bit odd in itself.

One thing, though, that does stand out is that Temple has an obvious energy and screen presence that transcends both her character and the nature of the material. It's no surprise that she could be spotted and groomed for stardom even while performing in things like this. What's a little less expected is to see such a complete contrast between the movies for which she is usually remembered and the movies that gave her a start.


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