My heart is heavy today after learning of the passing of beloved film star, Shirley Temple Black. I’ve had a special affinity for Shirley ever since I first saw her in the movie Bright Eyes (1934) and fell in love with her sparkle and talent. I’ve enjoyed so many of her movies over the years including my ten favorites, which I wrote about a few years ago.
When I think of Shirley’s movies and some of my favorite scenes, the one that always seems to stand out and will forever be special to me was the song and dance routine she performed with co-star Buddy Ebsen, set to the song “At the Codfish Ball” in the movie Captain January (1936).
My thoughts and prayers go out to Shirley’s family and friends on this very sad day. Rest in peace, Shirley. Thank you for all the joy you brought to me and your many fans.
Are there any movies you like to watch when you’re feeling happy, sad, bored, etc.? For me, it’s rarely my emotions that determine the movie I watch, although sometimes the time of year or even the weather can play a part. I mean, who doesn’t love to watch a good mystery when it’s storming outside?! Well, I do anyway!
But when Frances stopped by my Facebook page and suggested I create a list of the best oldies to watch when you need cheering up, I thought it was a great idea. Even though I don’t usually pick a movie for that reason, I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a few titles handy just in case I’m ever in need of some good cheer myself.
So after going through the list of all the classic movies that I have seen so far, I came up with the following movies that I think would put a smile on just about anyone’s face. (To learn more about each movie, click on the title which will bring you to its summary page on IMBd.com)
Laughter is the Best Medicine – Classic Comedies
It Happened One Night (1934) One of the first classic movies I ever watched, the hitchhiking scene with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert showed me early on that old movies can be just as laugh out loud funny as current movies. I never would have believed that before I discovered my love for classic film.
The Thin Man (1934) and the entire “Thin Man” series. This movie is just so much fun. I love the mix of comedy and mystery, and the wonderful chemistry between its two stars William Powell and Myrna Loy make them one of classic film’s greatest on-screen couples. Continue reading →
Happy Birthday to one of my favorite actresses, Shirley Temple Black, who turns 83 today! Shirley was born on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California to George and Gertrude Temple. It was Gertrude who encouraged Shirley to become a performer by exposing her to music and dance at an early age. She was known to advise Shirley before each of her movie scenes to “sparkle, Shirley, sparkle.” According to this preview of her biography on the Biography Channel, she didn’t really need much help as sparkling seemed to come naturally to Shirley.
Shirley Temple was discovered at the age of three by producers of a company called Educational Pictures while attending Mrs. Meglin’s Dance Studio in Los Angeles. They chose her to star in a number of short films called Baby Berlesks, which were parodies of the motion pictures of the day with casts made up entirely of children dressed up in adult costumes. I have seen a few of these films, and I have to say they made me a bit uncomfortable due to their somewhat exploitative nature. I much preferred watching her in the movies she was soon to star in. Continue reading →
Shirley Temple was not only one of the most famous child stars of the 1930’s, but she was also the biggest box office draw four years in a row from 1935-1938, topping such popular adult stars as Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, and Joan Crawford. That four year stretch is a record that still stands today.
She was a talented tap dancer and singer who according to her mother at least, could also sing with perfect pitch. She was so popular during that time that merchandise bearing her image such as dolls, clothes, glassware, and books sold very well despite the fact that the country was in the middle of the Great Depression.
My Introduction to Shirley Temple: The Brady Bunch – Snooperstar
Before I came to like old movies, my only knowledge of Shirley Temple came from an episode of The Brady Bunch, and unfortunately it caused me to have an unflattering opinion of her. In an episode called “The Snooperstar” a revenge seeking Marcia Brady convinces her sister Cindy that a talent scout is interested in making her “the next Shirley Temple”. Continue reading →