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I guess we were allowed to only have one Shirley Temple, so there were probably a few little girls given chances who did not do the box office and thus they have been consigned to the dustheap of the forgotten.
This little girl deserved better as she was quite talented. Mainly as an actress, she really put the character across, this cute, self-assured, gregarious little gal who befriends all she meets. The trick is not making her TOO adorable, and somehow she pulls it off despite scenes where she is crying on the steps of an orphanage or when her dog is kicked by an evil gangster. She's a little robotic in her Temple-esque musical numbers, but as an actress she had the chops. Only wish she would have shared some of the earnings with the black kids after she horns in on their street act!
As the lead guy, Armstrong really shines as a character we have seen before, the no-good guy who is turned soft by a kid. He makes it fresh by never seeming like too hard a guy to begin with, and not going too soft too soon. Horton helps out a great deal.
The girl ends up being exposed to a surprising lot of violence and emotional turmoil before the whole thing winds up. But that's what you get sometimes!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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