Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Shirley Temple: America's Little Darling" (PBS runs)


On Monday, February 22, 2010 PBS WETA aired a 1992 one hour documentary from Wombat films, directed by Gene Feldman, edited by Stephanie Paslewski, “Shirley Temple: America’s Little Darlin’”.

The film examines the career of Shirley Temple, born in 1928 (as Shirley Jane Temple), as a depression-era child actress, who (for 15 cents) made workers forget their troubles, and who actually, as a child, helped adult actors recall their lines on the set. She was on contract with Fox, when it became 20th Century Fox, for much of her career.

She would leave her acting career at 21 and move on to other areas, including running for office (something other actors would emulate), as a Republican, and serving as ambassador.

She was privately tutored, in the days before studios had to hire studio teachers, but eventually went to a private grils’ school in Beverly Hills.

Some of the more remarkable scenes in the documentary come from “The Little Colonel” and later “The Little Princess” where the ash-throwing scene is rehearsed.

She also performed as part of the first interracial dancing couple on screen.

The film seems interesting in view of the spectacular success of many teen actors in recent years (like Zac Efron, Daniel Radcliffe, Taylor Lautner, and Gregory Smith).

Wikipedia attribution link for p.d. picture of Shirley Temple with Eleanor Roosevelt

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