Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Temple Tuesday: The Boy Next Door

We often hear about how Shirley Temple came THIS CLOSE to having the role of Dorothy that made Judy Garland a legend. What you probably don’t hear about is something else they actually DID share: the boy next door. Surely you remember him. He’s the guy who lived at 5133 Kensington Avenue that inspired Judy to sing “The Boy Next Door” in 1944’s “Meet Me In St. Louis.” He was played by Tom Drake, who had a moderately successful career but definitely not one that would pop to the top of most memorable. He was born Alfred Sinclair Alderdice; I can see why he changed his name. That’s a mouthful for a billboard. Once was not enough for Judy though; she also made “Words and Music” with him in 1948. They only had a few seconds of screen time together though, as she was only on board for two musical numbers. That’s Janet Leigh (of “Psycho” fame) on the right.

In 1949, Shirley won Drake away from Judy, as she was the one who ended up with him in “Mr. Belvedere Goes to College,” also starring Clifton Webb.

It’s a mildly amusing film with Shirley as a war widow with a son; Drake plays a college student job coordinator. Of course they fall in love, but not without a few little roadblocks along the way.

It may have all been a moot point, as it appears based on a few sources that Tom actually preferred “the boy next door.”

See more Shirley photos at my main website.


Max said...

so I can't
ignore him

Daveland said...

Max - I need audio of this! ;)