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Curly Top (1935)

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Wealthy Edward Morgan becomes charmed with a curly-haired orphan and her pretty older sister Mary and arranges to adopt both under the alias of "Mr. Jones." As he spends more time with them, he soon finds himself falling in love with Mary.

Director:

Irving Cummings

Writers:

Patterson McNutt (screenplay), Arthur J. Beckhard (screenplay) (as Arthur Beckhard)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Shirley Temple ... Elizabeth Blair
John Boles ... Edward Morgan
Rochelle Hudson ... Mary Blair
Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Denham
Rafaela Ottiano ... Mrs. Higgins
Esther Dale ... Aunt Genevieve Graham
Etienne Girardot ... Mr. Wyckoff
Arthur Treacher ... Butler
Maurice Murphy ... Jimmie Rogers
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Storyline

Wealthy Edward Morgan becomes charmed with a curly-haired orphan and her pretty older sister Mary and arranges to adopt both under the alias of "Mr. Jones." As he spends more time with them, he soon finds himself falling in love with Mary.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boucles d'or See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Neither the play nor the novel is mentioned in the screen credits, but most reviewers at the time recognized the similarity, and there was an item in the Los Angeles Examiner in January, 1935, announcing that Shirley Temple was to star in a film based on "Daddy Long Legs." Fox owned the rights to both the novel and the play, having produced earlier versions for the screen. See more »

Goofs

During the benefit gala when Shirley is doing her skit as an old lady she hobbles on stage with a cane then lays it down on the floor next to her rocking chair. When she stands up to dance the cane has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Elizabeth: Can I have my surprise first?
Edward Morgan: Yes, indeed you may. Here you are, young lady, a string of pearls.
Elizabeth: Pearls? They look just like those little stones on the beach.
Mary Blair: Elizabeth!
Edward Morgan: Do you like them?
Elizabeth: I'd really rather have a pair of roller skates.
Edward Morgan: Well, we'll throw those in for good measure.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The introductory title credit is followed by an extreme close-up of Shirley Temple's curly top. Shirley then raises her head, and shakes her curls, smiling broadly all the while. See more »


Soundtracks

When I Grow Up
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
Sung by Shirley Temple
Reprised a cappella by Billy Gilbert, Arthur Treacher, and then Esther Dale
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps a bit too cute...
19 July 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Curly Top" is an enjoyable film--as are most of Shirley Temple's films. And, while I do recommend it, the film cannot be counted among her very best even if it did feature one of her most famous songs, "Animal Crackers".

The film begins with Shirley living in a stuffy orphanage. Her precocious ways are NOT appreciated by the head mistress, but the chairman of the board of directors, Edward Morgan (John Boles,) is instantly captivated with her charms (as was most of America at the time!). His wanting to adopt her was not at all surprising--but his insistence that he was acting as an agent for a rich benefactor never really made sense*. As for Shirley, she wants to be adopted but declines, as she doesn't want to be separated from her sister (Rochelle Hudson) who works doing menial work at the orphanage. When Morgan hears of this, he agrees to take both (though the sister is about 19--which makes it all a bit odd!) and takes them to his home--but still not divulging that HE was their new benefactor. Later, when Morgan falls in love with the older sister, things get complicated!

Throughout most of the film, Shirley is simply adorable--perhaps too adorable. I have a VERY high tolerance for her sweetness, but here she seemed a bit less of a person and more of a performing machine. This is because she sings a few too many songs (one of which is HEAVILY scripted and choreographed) and too often she seemed to mug for the camera--definitely NOT typical of most of her vehicles. Simply put her saying "Oh my goodness" all the time eventually wore thin--though she was still, without question, quite adorable.

Overall, I did like the film--even with the way they used Shirley's character. But, the film (even apart from Shirley), had too much singing (Hudson's number was very weak and Boles' voice was too thin by today's standards), the plot was thin and made little sense as well as the idea of a man taking that much interest in Shirley did, by today's standards, seem a bit creepy. But, as I said, it was good overall due to Shirley's charm.

*This film is a re-working of the old novel "Daddy Long Legs" (which was also a play and Mary Pickford vehicle). While the plot worked fine around the turn of the century, by 1935 it was quite dated.


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