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War Babies (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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War Babies -- 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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Release Date:
18 September 1932 (USA) See more »
A group of soldiers in a café watch a dancer as she entertains them, but later two of them become rivals over her. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(4 articles)
Shirley Temple Passes Away at Age 85
 (From MovieWeb. 11 February 2014, 9:29 AM, PST)

Former iconic Hollywood child star Shirley Temple dead
 (From RealBollywood. 11 February 2014, 7:00 AM, PST)

Shirley Temple Dead at 85
 (From Moviefone. 11 February 2014, 12:34 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Peculiar & Rather Uncomfortable To Watch See more (18 total) »



Shirley Temple ... Charmaine
Georgie Billings ... Soldier (uncredited)
Eugene Butler ... Sergeant Quirt (uncredited)
Philip Hurlic ... Black Boy (uncredited)
Georgie Smith ... Captain Flagg (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Lamont 
Produced by
Jack Hays .... producer
Other crew
Robert M. Savini .... presenter

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:11 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:G | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

This short film was the first in the "Baby Burlesk" one-reel comedy series.See more »
Captain Flagg:Gee whiz, you dames are expensive! Here's the last one. Now I'm broke.See more »
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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Peculiar & Rather Uncomfortable To Watch, 9 January 2006
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio

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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