Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Thank you for the use of the Hall

Poor little Shirley seemed to be a staple of the court system throughout her childhood film career! Her characters were often found charming a judge into helping her get the right adoptive family (as in 1934’s “Bright Eyes” above). Sometimes, Shirley was able to plead her case to the highest authority in the country, as she did with Abraham Lincoln (perfectly portrayed by Frank McGlynn Sr.) in 1935’s “The Littlest Rebel,” shown below. Of course he kept her on-screen father from the gallows!

In 1936’s “Stowaway,” Shirley lands in jail with co-star Robert Young who accidentally grabbed the hand of the wrong child, thinking it was Shirley. Don’t worry — they were bailed out quickly.

In the same film, Shirley’s expert (albeit coached) testimony helped keep adoptive parents (Alice Faye and Robert Young) from getting a divorce just in time for a Christmas celebration.

In “Heidi” (1937), Shirley is able to keep her grandfather (Jean Hersholt) from being locked away for kidnapping by namedropping “Herr Sessemann,” who just happened to be the wealthiest guy in town.

Shirley got creative in court in “Little Miss Broadway” (1938) by presenting a complete Broadway show as evidence to help keep her father from being evicted from the hotel that he ran.

Even in her adult career, Shirley’s characters sometimes ran afoul of the law. In “Honeymoon” (1947), an underage Shirley has trouble getting a marriage license in Mexico. Ick.

Although Shirley doesn’t appear in court in “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” (1947), her sister plays a judge. Thanks to that crucial family connection, Shirley’s underage attempt to romance an older man (Cary Grant) is kept out of the judicial system!

Finally, in “Adventure in Baltimore” (1949), Shirley lands in the klink for being part of a women’s rights protest. Father (Robert Young) has to bail her and the rest of the family out of jail.

Fortunately in real life, Shirley stayed on the right side of the law!

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

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