Saturday, January 22, 2011

Screen Gem Saturdays: Shirley Temple visits Columbia Studios

Shirley Temple‘s first “retirement” was at the ripe old age of 12. After one minor film for MGM, she did an even more minor effort entitled, “Miss Annie Rooney,” released May 29, 1942, which was most notable as her very first on-screen kiss (which amounted to little more than a chaste kiss on the cheek). Of this low-budget film, Variety said: “Shirley is still a conscientious worker in any film that comes her way, even though her appeal remains limited to less sophisticated tastes.” The New Yorker: “not much, about not much.” The New York Times: “‘Miss Annie Rooney’ is a very little picture. In fact, it is a very grim little picture....Meanwhile, couldn’t Miss Temple be kept in school for just a little while?”

What do you do after you get reviews like that? How about visit another film studio, surround yourself with hot celebrities, and get a blurb written about yourself in the press! That’s exactly what Shirley did as she toured Columbia Studio on June 20, 1942. First up was on onset visit for the film “You Were Never Lovelier” (released November 19, 1942) with Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, directed by William Seiter (who directed Shirley in “Dimples,” “Stowaway,” “The Little Princess,” and “Susannah of the Mounties). Rita does not look too happy about being left out of this particular dance step.

On the set of “My Sister Eileen” (released September 24, 1942), Shirley posed with Director Alexander Hall (who directed Shirley in “Little Miss Marker” back in 1934) and a less-than-thrilled looking Rosalind Russell.

Here are Shirley and Hall together again after their previous film eight years beforehand:

Shirley did make a triumphant comeback under the guidance of David O. Selznick two years later, but in the meantime, she lived the life of a normal teenager.

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.


Thufer said...

My goodness. Rita Hayworth was a strikingly good looking woman. No pig calling please); she was truly beautiful in the days of true 'movie stars.'

JG said...

Ya, Thufer, Rita was the stuff, eh? I'm in love with her, but it's OK, my wife knows about us.

Dave, this reminds me unaccountably of the old old Laugh-IN TV show schtick of the little blonde girl who would open one of those double door panels in blackface and say "Hi! I'm Shirley Temple Black!"

I didn't understand it, my Dad explained it to me.

Thanks for this post.


Daveland said...

JG - I remember watching "Laugh-In" as a tot also and thinking how funny it was. Now I realize I probably was missing about 60% of the jokes!

JG said...

dave, the same thing applies to coyote and road runner, bugs bunny, etc. they are even funnier now that i'm old.

for some reason, the disney comics are oddly free of that kind of subtext, at least to me. they still feel like they did when i was five, and that's ok.