Shirley Temple - Rotten Tomatoes

Shirley Temple



The jury is still out as to whether or not curly haired Shirley Temple was the most talented child star in movie history; there is little doubt, however, that she was the most consistently popular. The daughter of non-professionals, she started taking singing and dancing classes at the age of three, and the following year began accompanying her mother on the movie audition circuit. Hired by the two-reel comedy firm of Educational Pictures in 1933, she starred in an imitation Our Gang series called the Baby Burlesks, performing astonishingly accurate impressions of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich; she was also featured in the films of Educational's other stars, including Andy Clyde and Frank Coghlan Jr. In 1934 she was signed by Fox Pictures, a studio then teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. After a handful of minor roles she created a sensation by stopping the show with her rendition of "Baby Take a Bow" in Fox's Stand Up and Cheer. She was promptly promoted to her own starring features, literally saving Fox (and its successor 20th Century Fox) from receivership, and earned a special Oscar in 1934 "in grateful recognition to her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment." With such tailor-made vehicles as Bright Eyes (1934), Curly Top (1935), The Little Colonel (1935), Dimples (1936), and Heidi (1937), Temple was not only America's number one box-office attraction, but a merchandising cash cow, inspiring an unending cascade of Shirley Temple dolls, toys, and coloring books. She also prompted other studios to develop potential Shirley Temples of their own, such as Sybil Jason and Edith Fellows (ironically, the only juvenile actress to come close to Temple's popularity was 20th Century Fox's own Jane Withers, who got her start playing a pint-sized villain in Temples' Bright Eyes). Though the Fox publicity mill was careful to foster the myth that Temple was just a "typical" child with a "normal" life, her parents carefully screened her friends and painstakingly predetermined every move she made in public. Surprisingly, she remained an unspoiled and most cooperative coworker, though not a few veteran character actors were known to blow their stacks when little Temple, possessed of a photographic memory, corrected their line readings. By 1940, Temple had outgrown her popularity, as indicated by the failure of her last Fox releases The Blue Bird and Young People. The following year, MGM, who'd originally wanted Temple to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, cast her in Kathleen, another box-office disappointment which ended her MGM association almost before it began. Under the auspices of producers Edward Small and David O. Selznick, Temple enjoyed modest success as a teenaged actress in such productions as 1942's Miss Annie Rooney (in which Dickie Moore gave her first screen kiss) and 1944's Since You Went Away. Still, the public preferred to remember the Shirley Temple that was, reacting with horror when she played sexually savvy characters in Kiss and Tell (1945) and That Hagen Girl (1947). Perhaps the best of her post-child star roles was spunky army brat Philadelphia Thursday in John Ford's Fort Apache (1947), in which she co-starred with her first husband, actor John Agar (the union broke up after four years when Agar began to resent being labeled "Mr. Shirley Temple"). She returned to 20th Century Fox for her last film, Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949), in which played second fiddle to star Clifton Webb. Retiring on her trust fund in 1950, she wed a second time to business executive Charles Black, a marriage that would endure for several decades and produce a number of children. In 1958 she made a comeback as host of The Shirley Temple Storybook, a well-received series of children's TV specials. Her final show business assignment was the weekly 1960 anthology The Shirley Temple Show, which though not a success enabled her to play a variety of character roles -- including a toothless old witch in an hour-long ada

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story
  • Screenwriter
2001
No Score Yet The Biggest Lil' Star in Hollywood
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Hidden Hollywood: Treasures From The 20th Century Fox Vaults
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Shirley Temple: Biggest Little Star
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet Storybook Theater: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Storybook Theater: The Emperor's New Clothes
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Storybook Theater: Sleeping Beauty
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Hollywood on Parade
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Storybook Theater: Rip Van Winkle
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Storybook Theater: The Wild Swan
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Storybook Theater: Mother Goose
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Shirley Temple's Storybook
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Shirley Temple's Storybook
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Storybook Theater: The Magic Fishbone
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Shirley Temple's Storybook
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Shirley Temple's Storybook
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet The Rose Parade: Through the Years
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet That's Dancing!
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Gotta Dance, Gotta Sing
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Hollywood's Children
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet The Sound of Laughter
  • Actor
1962
No Score Yet Almost a Bride
  • Corliss Archer
1949
No Score Yet The Story of Seabiscuit
  • Margaret O'Hara
1949
100% Fort Apache
  • Philadelphia Thursday
1948
No Score Yet That Hagen Girl
  • Mary Hagen
1947
75% The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
  • Susan
1947
No Score Yet Honeymoon
  • Barbara Olmstead
1947
No Score Yet I'll Be Seeing You
  • Barbara Marshall
1945
75% Since You Went Away
  • Bridget Hilton
1944
No Score Yet Miss Annie Rooney
  • Annie Rooney
1942
No Score Yet Kathleen
  • Kathleen Davis
1942
No Score Yet Young People
  • Wendy Ballantine
1940
No Score Yet The Blue Bird
  • Mytyl Tyl
1940
No Score Yet Susannah of the Mounties
  • Susannah Sheldon
1939
88% The Little Princess
  • Sara Crewe
1939
No Score Yet Just Around the Corner
  • Penny
1938
No Score Yet Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
  • Rebecca Winstead
1938
No Score Yet Little Miss Broadway
  • Betsy Brown
1938
100% Heidi
  • Heidi
1937
No Score Yet Wee Willie Winkie
  • Priscilla Williams
1937
No Score Yet Stowaway
  • Ching-Ching
1936
No Score Yet Dimples
  • Dimples Appleby
1936
86% Captain January
  • Star
1936
No Score Yet Poor Little Rich Girl
  • Barbara Barry
1936
88% The Littlest Rebel
  • Virginia Houston Cary
1935
No Score Yet Our Little Girl
  • Molly Middleton
1935
No Score Yet The Little Colonel
  • Lloyd Sherman
1935
No Score Yet Curly Top
  • Elizabeth Blair
1935
80% Bright Eyes
  • Shirley Blake
1934
No Score Yet Little Miss Marker
  • Miss Marker
1934
No Score Yet Change of Heart
  • Shirley, Girl on Airplane
1934
No Score Yet Stand Up and Cheer
  • Shirley Dugan
1934
No Score Yet Mandalay
  • Betty Shaw
1934
No Score Yet Now and Forever
  • Penelope 'Penny' Day
1934
No Score Yet Now I'll Tell
  • Mary Doran
1934
No Score Yet New Deal Rhythm
  • Actor
1934
No Score Yet Baby Take a Bow
  • Shirley Ellison
1934
No Score Yet Merrily Yours
  • Actor
1933
No Score Yet To the Last Man
  • Mary Standing
1933
No Score Yet Red-Haired Alibi
  • Gloria Shelton
1932

Quotes from Shirley Temple's Characters