All Growed Up

American audiences didn't want little curly top Shirley Temple to grow up. Mother Nature, however, had other plans. In 1937, English writer Grahame Greene wrote a film review in which he suggested that the 9-year-old Temple's image held an certain unhealthy appeal to "middle-aged men and clergymen." Her studio, Twentieth Century-Fox, sued the Night and Day magazine, which folded shortly afterward, and Greene fled to Mexico. You can read more about the scandal here. And you can read more about Shirley here and here. And, of course, Dr. Macro has many fine photos of her.
In any case, Shirley grew up and married actor John Agar, had a real life after her reel life, and won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2006. Grahame Greene went on to write wonderfully bitter novels, stories, and screenplays, including The Fallen Idol (1948), The Third Man (1949), and Our Man in Havana (1959).

1 comment:

Flickhead said...

For me, the most disturbing of her films was Bright Eyes (1934), in which the six-year-old lived in an airline hangar, playing waitress, maid and mother confessor to a gang of clingy, grinning male pilots.

After a few minutes, even I was starting to check out her legs...