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Kathleen is a 12 year old who lives in a big house with a nanny, a butler, maids, no mother and a father who is working most of the time. She dreams of a family with a mother, father and her, and tells everyone that she has such a family. Because of this story, she cannot invite any friends over as they will see that it is not true. Kathleen and her nanny, Mrs. Farrell do not get along, so her father hires a psychologist name Dr. Kent to be her new nanny for the summer. Her father has a new girlfriend, named Lorraine, who he is considering for his wife and mother to Kathleen. Kathleen does not like her and Lorraine is cold to Kathleen. Kathleen envisions Dr. Kent as the perfect mother for her and wife for her father. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the other reviews called this picture a weak vehicle for Shirley Temple. It's definitely not her best, but it's not terrible either. This said, I think she was wrong for the part-- which was given to her after her mother objected to Shirley being cast in a Wallace Beery film called BARNACLE BILL. Virginia Weidler, who had originally been cast as KATHLEEN, was pulled off this movie and paired her with Beery instead. Shirley then took over to do what her mother felt was material better suited for her. But it's really not a good vehicle for her, for a variety of reasons.
I think the main problem is that Shirley looks too old. Virginia would have been more believable (with the braids, which were becoming a cliché by this point in her career). However, it certainly would have worked best with a young Margaret O'Brien. It really had to be someone very tiny and fragile looking, who desperately needed a new mommy to look after her. Laraine Day is fine in her role, Nella Walker as a battle-axe is very good, and I find Felix Bressart to be as charming as ever. However, as much as I enjoy Herbert Marshall, he is wrong for his part as daddy. It should have been someone like Walter Pidgeon.
Overall I don't think the story is the issue-- it's the casting and how these roles were directed. By the way, when Shirley was signed by MGM, the first project the studio announced for her was an Andy Hardy picture. But probably Mama Temple vetoed that in a hurry-- no B films for her daughter, and no second fiddle to Mickey Rooney. Can you imagine her conversations with Mayer about that!
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