Shirley's last film on her 20th Century Fox contract (aged 12). Her parents (Oakie, Greenwood) decide to retire from show biz so she can have a normal life. They are unwelcome in the small ...
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Shirley's last film on her 20th Century Fox contract (aged 12). Her parents (Oakie, Greenwood) decide to retire from show biz so she can have a normal life. They are unwelcome in the small town until a storm lets the family show their stuff. Clips from earlier films fill in Shirley's background. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A little more care and expense could have made this a better Shirley Temple vehicle...
It looks as if Fox wasn't prepared to spend anything but a B-picture budget on Shirley's last film for the studio. Even the colorized version that popped up several years ago fails to give the picture an A-picture look that it deserved. All the trappings are on a downscale that makes the film little more than a programmer.
Shirley herself is still a talented girl--still the cheerful disposition, dimples and dancing feet--but while her talent is obviously a modest one, it's Charlotte Greenwood and Jack Oakie that are the real pros. Occasionally Shirley meets their standards and this gives the film the lift it needs. But all too often, it's apparent that the charm she had as a tot isn't enough to maintain her pre-teen appeal.
The story is a simple one about a vaudeville couple who adopt a baby girl and then want to retire to the country so she can have a normal life when she's growing up. The conflict comes when the townspeople refuse to accept the showbiz family in their community. Finally, with the help of George Montgomery and Arleen Whelan, the family overcomes all obstacles. A fierce storm sequence toward the end is extremely well done but fails to save the picture from being anything more than an ordinary yarn.
Clever use of Shirley's earlier film footage as a tot is inserted for the "babe on the road" inserts. It's a pleasant enough show but more funding by Fox would have elevated it to A-status.
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