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The Shirley Temple Collection, Vol. 3 [6 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 2387479
  • Release Date: 01/13/2015
  • Rating: G
  • 4.8 (11)
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$19.99
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
4.8
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (11 out of 11)

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

The Littlest Rebel
The old Edward Peble play The Littlest Rebel was gussied up in 1935 as a Shirley Temple vehicle. The curly-topped child star plays Virgie Cary, who lives in Southern-Plantation splendor with her dad Herbert (John Boles) and mom (Karen Morley). The family's idyllic existence is shattered when the Civil War breaks out. A captain in the Confederacy, Herbert Cary marches off to the battlefield, leaving his faithful family retainers -- including philosophical old Uncle Billy (Bill "Bojangles" Robinson) -- to watch over Virgie and Mrs. Cary. No one, however, is prepared for the ravages of war, thus Virgie is forced to endure the destruction of her family home and the death of mom after lingering illness. Desperately trying to make his way home for one last reunion with his wife, Herbert is arrested as a Southern spy. Fortunately, Yankee colonel Morrison (Jack Holt) takes a liking to the tenacious Virgie and tries to escort the girl and her father to safety. As a result, Morrison is arrested for desertion, and both he and Herbert are sentenced to be shot. Making her way to Washington in the company of faithful Uncle Billy, Virgie secures a pardon for both her father and Col. Morrison from an avuncular Abraham Lincoln (Frank McGlynn Sr.) The stereotypical treatment of black characters in The Littlest Rebel is more offensive than usual, with "happy darkies" nervously pondering the prospect of being freed from slavery and shivering in their boots when the Yankees arrive. But Bill Robinson manges to cut through the color line with his astonishing terpsichorean talents, especially in his closing "challenge dance" with Shirley Temple. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Blue Bird
When Darryl F. Zanuck's arrangement to loan Shirley Temple to MGM as star of The Wizard of Oz fell through, Zanuck hastily assembled a lavish Technicolor vehicle for his diminutive star which, he hoped, would match Wizard in popularity and appeal. The result was The Blue Bird, adapted from the allegorical stage play by Maurice Maeterlinck (previously filmed by director Maurice Tourneur in 1918). In emulation of The Wizard of Oz, The Blue Bird was bookended with black-and-white sequences, reserving Technicolor for the fantasy "body" of the film; similarly, Gale Sondergaard, who had been the first choice to play the Wicked Witch of the West in Wizard, was cast as Blue Bird's nominal villainess. Set in mid-Europe sometime in the late 18th century, the story concerns Mytyl (Temple and Tyltyl (John Russell), the children of a woodchopper (Russell Hicks) who has been called to fight in a faraway war. Heartbroken, the kids decide to run away from home in search of the Bluebird of Happiness, which will ostensibly solve all their problems. Falling asleep, Mytyl and Tyltyl dream that the good fairy Berylune (Jessie Berylune) is leading them on that search, accompanied by their household pets Tylo (a dog) and Tylette (a cat), who have assumed human form (and as such are repectively played by Eddie Collins and the aforementioned Gale Sondergaard). Before arriving at the far-from-unexpected realization that the elusive Bluebird of Happiness is no further than their own backyard, the two kiddies undergo a variety of astonishing experiences, including a raging forest fire (a triumph of 20th Century-Fox special-effects master Fred Sersen) and an oddly unsettling visit to "The Land of the Unborn". Rather heavy going for its intended family audience, The Blue Bird proved to be Shirley Temple's biggest flop, and a subsequent 1976 US-Soviet version starring Elizabeth Taylor fared no better at the box office. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Dimples
This lavish Shirley Temple starrer is set in New York, sometime in the 1850s. While lovable pickpocket "Professor" Eustace Appleby works the crowd, his talented granddaughter Dimples (Temple) dances for pennies. Dimples demands that Appleby stop his thieving ways, but every time he tries to follow the straight and narrow, he comes out the loser (most memorably when he's hoodwinked by a dapper con man played by John Carradine). While Dimples entertains at the home of society matron Mrs. Caroline Drew (Helen Westley), Appleby pilfers several valuable objects. This time he's caught with the goods, but Dimples gallantly takes the blame. Touched by this, Mrs. Drew adopts the little girl, enabling her to find success on the legitimate stage. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Stand up and Cheer
Based on an idea by Will Rogers, the story concerns the efforts by the President of the United States to get the public's mind off the Depression. To this end, he appoints Broadway impresario Lawrence Cromwell (Warner Baxter) to the new cabinet position of "Secretary of Amusement." Wasting no time, Cromwell sets about to nationalize the entertainment industry, organizing singers, dancers, actors and other variety artists into batallion-like touring units. Cromwell is fought at every turn by a cartel of wealthy industrialists, who've been profiting from the Depression and have no desire to see America pull itself upward. Happily, every effort to bribe or cajole Cromwell into giving up his mission is thwarted and the Department of Amusement goes on to help the the country at a time when its citizens most needed it. Among the highlights are an energetic "revival-meeting" musical number by Aunt Jemima (Theresa Gardella), and 6-year-old Shirley Temple's rendition of "Baby Take a Bow." Originally released at 80 minutes, Stand Up and Cheer was edited to 69 minutes for reissue, then to 65 minutes (removing most of Stepin Fetchit's scenes) for television: it was this last version which was computer-colorized in 1987. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Little Colonel
Shirley Temple's first costume picture -- and one of her best pictures of any kind -- was 1935's The Little Colonel. The story begins in 1870, when unreconstructed Southerner Colonel Lloyd (Lionel Barrymore) disowns his daughter Elizabeth (Evelyn Venable) when she stubbornly marries damn-Yankee Jack Sherman (John Lodge). Several years pass, during which time the Shermans' daughter, Lloyd (Temple), dubbed "the little colonel," is born. When Jack and Elizabeth suffer a series of financial reverses, they are compelled to move into a small cottage owned by Elizabeth, near her father's estate. As tenacious and opinionated as her grandpa, little Lloyd befriends the crusty old codger and tries to effect a reunion between the colonel and Elizabeth. Her efforts at first meet with failure, but when the ailing Jack is imperiled by all-around villain Swazey (Sidney Blackmer) does the colonel race to the rescue, with the "little colonel" leading the way. The film's brief Technicolor finale, long missing from TV prints, was restored in the mid-'80s. Why Fox felt that Technicolor was needed is a mystery; Shirley Temple's name in and of itself was the principal drawing card of The Little Colonel, while Temple's famous stair-dance duet with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was worth the admission price in itself. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Little Princess
Shirley Temple's first Technicolor feature, The Little Princess was inspired by the oft-filmed novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Set in turn-of-the-century England, the film finds Temple being enrolled in a boarding school by her wealthy widowed father (Ian Hunter), who must head off to fight in the Boer War. At first, Temple is treated like royalty; her behavior couldn't be more down to earth, but this preferential treatment foments resentment. When her father is reported killed in the war, circumstances are severely altered. The spiteful headmistress (Mary Nash) relegates Temple to servant status and forces the girl to sleep in a drafty attic. She keeps her spirits up by hoping against hope that her father will return, and to that end she haunts the corridors of a nearby military hospital. Queen Victoria doesn't have to make a guest appearance in the tearfully joyous closing sequence, but it does serve as icing on the cake to this, one of Temple's most enjoyable feature films. Reliable Shirley Temple flick supporting actors Cesar Romero and Arthur Treacher are back in harness in The Little Princess, while adult leading lady Anita Louise figures prominently in a sugary dream sequence. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Overall Customer Rating

4.8 (11 Reviews)
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