When a maid is accidentally hit by a car and killed, her young orphaned daughter is forced to live with the snooty couple she used to work for. A custody battle soon ensues between an aviator who adores the little girl and the couple's crotchety Uncle Ned. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Shirley Temple's mother Gertrude Temple worried that Jane Withers would steal the spotlight from her daughter in this movie, and she tried to convince director David Butler to minimize Withers's role. Butler refused, saying that Withers's bratty, spoiled character would increase audience sympathy for Shirley. See more »
When Shirley is out with Joy giving their dolls buggy rides and Joy wants to operate on Shirley's doll, Shirley says she doesn't want Mary Lou to be operated on. But the doll she actually has is not the small one she named Mary Lou, it's the larger one named Lupee given to her by the aviators. See more »
Rare is the scene in a Shirley Temple film where Curly Top is reduced to a mere spectator while another actor grabs the spotlight and runs screaming with it, but Bright Eyes has them in bunches! See Shirley gasp as human pit bull Jane Withers dismembers a doll before her very eyes! Tremble with fear as Shirley flees from her possessed playmate when their Santa Claus discussion takes a nasty turn! And if you think young Joy is a terror now, imagine how bad she'd be without psychoanalysis. In the movie's far too numerous non-Jane scenes, Shirley reverts to her old role as top banana with predictably charming results. No Shirley Temple film can really get rolling until her parents have been killed, so Mother is done in about half-way through, while Dad offs it before the opening credits, freeing our young pixie for another delightful custody battle. (By the way, do you suppose kids of the 1930's took a secret satisfaction in watching Shirley's parents get systematically rubbed out in every one of her movies? After all, her new parents were always a step up from the old ones; richer, prettier and usually much more fun. Life as an orphan might not have looked so bad to a depression-era tot after seeing a Shirley Temple picture.)
In conclusion, this movie is highly recommended for Shirley's fans and foes alike. Watch it for Shirley's smile or Jane's scowl, and stay tuned till the end. You won't want to miss the most satisfying closing shot in the history of cinema.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?