Shirley Temple, Guy Kibbee, Buddy Ebsen. Dir: David Butler
When I was little, and my dad was in the navy, I used to walk through the navy exchange and see these beautiful dolls in the toy section. My mother told me they were Shirley Temple dolls and I wanted one so badly. Then when I was 5, I was in a dinner theatre production of The Sound of Music and we used to sit at the bar and drink Shirley Temples. I knew who she was, but at that point I hadn’t seen any of her movies. It wasn’t until I was 8 that I finally saw a Shirley Temple film. It was this one. And I loved it. I wanted to be her. All I needed were dancing lessons, but I had already tried dancing lessons at age 7 and quit (the other girls were mean and the classes happened during Batman in the afternoons- 2 very valid reasons to quit). So I’m not Shirley Temple now.
The movie also stars Guy Kibbee, who was a fairly ubiquitous character actor in the 30’s and 40’s and very entertaining. He usually played a jolly but intelligence-challenged type of character. I always like to see him in things because the movies he did were almost always light-hearted, my favorite flavor.
The premise of this movie is that Shirley Temple was a foundling discovered and raised from infancy by Guy Kibbee. A mean lady doesn’t think the little girl is being raised properly. Sad and happy things happen. The credits roll.
Buddy Ebsen, who was very tall, makes an appearance in this, and watching him and Temple dance together is adorable, especially when you consider that three of her (heighth-wise) equals one of him. Ebsen was so sweet in all of their scenes and it’s very cute to watch.
I mentioned the drink “Shirley Temple” earlier and I think it necessary to point out that Guy Kibbee has eggs named after him. You know when you take a piece of bread and cut a hole and then break an egg into that hole and cook it? Those are called “Guy Kibbee Eggs” because he cooked them that way in a movie called “Mary Jane’s Pa”. I wonder if there’s any food named after Ebsen? Maybe a possum or something.
Anyway, make yourself some Guy Kibbee eggs, grab a Shirley Temple, and sit back and watch this fun movie.