on June 6, 2002
20th Century Fox tried to rework the plot of "Wee Willie Winkie" in this Shirley Temple flick. One key person missing from the picture was director John Ford. The product suffers without Ford's vision of humor, action, and sentiment. Don't get me wrong. Shirley Temple is still America's Sweetheart. She is the lone survivor of a wagon train massacre, and RCMP Randolph Scott comes to her aid. This time it's American Indians on the warpath. Shirley almost single-handed prevents war on the Canadian frontier, while charming everybody in sight. By 1939, Shirley was starting to show definite signs of growing up, dangerous in a child star. She has a crush on Scott and tries to keep him from mooning around a good-looking woman visiting the outpost. As usual, Shirley's "isn't that cute" antics are amusing. Her culture clashes with the deadpan Indian kid, Little Chief, are comic. There is even some Western style action-adventure. Victor Jory is menacing if somewhat cliched as a villainous Indian. The usual elements just don't jell as well as they did in "Wee Willie Winkie." As wholesome family entertainment, all Shirley Temple films are a success, regardless. This one is pleasant, but not Shirley's best. ;-)
on August 23, 2000
10-year-old Shirley stars with Randolph Scott in this powerful movie about a young girl, orphaned after a group of Native Americans kill the rest of her wagon train. She is then taken in to live with Randolph Scott at a military base. When a different group of Native Americans want to gain their trust their cheif gives his son to live with them. After learning to cope with the 'little cheif's' behavior, he and shirley become friends and together must save the life of a dear friend. This is not one of Shirley's best films with only one song. She shows her dramatic acting talent and is not always her sweet little self. Don't forget, this 1939 movie was after she was #1 in box office cumes and was only #5, soon to be pushed aff the top 10 list, completely.