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Old 07-05-2001, 04:34 PM
crackersandmilk crackersandmilk is offline
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Hey, you guys brought it up! I saw it mentioned on the 'crying indian being Italian' post. Anywho is it true?
Old 07-05-2001, 04:55 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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Uh, why would she? She was a legitimate star by the time she was, what, six?
Old 07-05-2001, 04:57 PM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
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Without a link to this "Crying Italian Indian Thread", it is a tough call to make, but we may have a winner for stupidest question ever posted.
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Old 07-05-2001, 05:01 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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From The Unofficial Nicole Sullivan Tribute Page

The Littlest Hoochie: Shirley Temple (Dannah Feinglass) goes to an
inner-city school and learns how to be a hoochie mama in this Shirley
Temple/gangsta crossover. As a period piece this is not bad (in
general Mad TV fares pretty well with these); what is funny is that
although this is meant to be a parody, it might not be that far
off the mark - some film experts have said that if some of these
Shirley Temple shorts were released today, they might be considered
child pornography, considering their somewhat unwholesome content along
with the rather vague legal definition of child porn in the U.S.A. I
cite the 1933 short, "Polly Tix in Washington," which casts a very
young Shirley Temple as a vamp attempting to corrupt a Senator into
supporting the castor oil lobby, as an example of a Shirley Temple
film with somewhat questionable content. It is uncertain whether this
is what the writers had in mind when they wrote this bit (probably
not), but even if they didn't, this segment deserves some credit for
its originality.
The IMDB didn't list "The Littlest Hoochie" but it does have "Polly Tix in Washington."
Old 07-05-2001, 05:06 PM
SkeptiJess SkeptiJess is offline
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She never did any explicit "kiddie porn" that I ever heard of. She did do a series of shorts before she was famous that sound (and, according to the stills I've seen, look) rather racy. They were takeoffs on or parodies of then-current movies with small children playing all the parts. The children were dressed very sexily (although all of them wore giant diapers with their glittery costumes!) and directed to act in an adult fashion. Many people felt that these films were in very poor taste and, again judging from the stills, a pervert would probably find them titilating -- but surely they were not porn, by any stretch of the imagination. The shorts series was called Baby Burlesque, although I don't recall the names of any specific films. Some of them may be available on video.
formerly known as just plain Jess
Old 07-05-2001, 05:13 PM
Abe Babe Abe Babe is offline
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Sorta gives new meaning to the song line:

"Animal crackers in my soup"

Excuse me, I need to go wash my brain out with soap.
Support the fine arts. . . shoot a rapper.
Old 07-05-2001, 05:20 PM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
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Ok, so those Baby Burlesque things have totally thrown me for a loop, but still the OP sounds like a stupid question ... but ... um geez, maybe not.

Color me aghast.
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Old 07-05-2001, 06:27 PM
gwar gwar is offline
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Shirley Temple did a movie in which she appeared topless -- but she was only about five or six, and I don't think that counts.
It's on all those commercials for the three video set they have airing right now.
Old 07-05-2001, 06:46 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
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I do find that bit in that commercial where she is standing on a table, hoising her skirt while dancing in front of a grown man rather disturbing. Hmm.
Old 07-06-2001, 01:58 AM
Redboss Redboss is offline
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Move along there folks - no pornogrphy here! nothing to see. Move along please...


They were actually called "Baby Burlesks" I believe. This was considered a kute spelling back then.

I think it would be going too far to say these films were bad taste or that the costumes were sexy. I mean the early thirties were a far more innocent time than now, and these films were just seen as dress-up parodies. The (mostly non-existent) hilarity was meant to come from the disparity between the exotic original movie star and the chubby child portrayal.

For example, Shirley portrayed Marlene Dietrich (as "More-legs Sweet-trick". Her wooden performance is just like that of any little kid parroting lines.

But the Burlesks were very early in her career. When she was a Big Star, and films were tailored to her personality, there were a couple of things that to modern eyes seem uncomfortable.

First, she frequently performed in very short dresses. Secondly, she almost always sat on some man's lap and charmed him. In fact there's a lot of manhandling by men: during the performance of the Good Ship Lollipop song a plane full of men pass her around bodily, by necessity grasping her in an intimate way from time to time.

The thing is this really didn't seem inappropiate then. Sex wasn't seen as such a large part of everyone's life, and adults in contact with children were assumed to take a parental role.

Except that a British writer, Graeme Green, pointed out in a film review the wriggly, seductive, nature of Shirley's charm act.

Immediately the 20th Century Fox legal department swung into action, and Mr Green paid a heavy price. The offending article was suppressed, and not republished again until the eighties.

So the sexual aspects of her work were kept where they could be most effective - in the audiences' unconscious.

Her parents were wonderful. In an era when many child stars were exploited and swindled, and had extremely difficult lives, the Temples ensured that she reamined as unspoilt as possible. Certainly her life after the movie career finished was a success. True, she made a foolish, too early first marriage. But her later years have been rewarding. Her involvement in Republican Party politics have involved an ambassadorship to Ghana (was it?) in Africa, where she was extremely popular in her own adult right.

So, in a word - pornographic - never.

Thank you for the opportunity to pontificate about ST. None of my real-life friends will stand still long enough. I appreciate it.

Old 07-06-2001, 08:03 AM
ChoosyChipsAndCeilingWhacks ChoosyChipsAndCeilingWhacks is offline
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Obnoxious Feminist Conspiracy Theory

I think the notion that what little Shirley did can be compared in any way to pornography is ridiculous.

However, I have a new and improved Shirley Temple conspiracy theory for you to discuss. Rumor has it, that her success was caused by a bit of backlash. I'm not sure who the predominant female leads were at the time. Marlene Detrich? Joan Crawford? Mae West perhaps? I'm told that women's roles were getting stronger, more outspoken, more liberal. They were sexual, needed men less and less, and had important things to say. Plus, they were big women...tall, broad shouldered, strong.

Hey, Shirley was a cute little kid who could dance and sing up a storm. I'm not denying her talent. But could it be that her rise to stardom was partly due to a push to have female leads in a more "appropriate" roll? To put them back on a man's lap, using their female charms where they belonged?

In that way, I suppose Temples roles could have been seen as sexual in a sense. Not in a pornographic manner, but in the sense that we went from sexy, independent amazon to submissive, helpless girlie.

Warning: This is only something I've heard. I'm not familiar enough with the films of the period to have much of an opinion on this topic. I just thought someone else might have some insite based on this conspiracy.

Old 07-06-2001, 08:47 AM
SkeptiJess SkeptiJess is offline
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Redboss, I still think "More-legs Sweet-trick" is a kinda inappropriate name to slap on a 3 year old! And, those Baby Burlesk stills (I looked it up after I posted and you are correct about the kutesy spelling, BTW) still shake me a bit. They give me a very nasty Jon-Benet vibe.

However, you're right about Shirley's heyday being a more innocent time. I'm obviously (see the gratuitous Jon-Benet reference above) regarding these early 20th century photos with a late 20th century eye.

And, you were also very correct in saying that Shirley's parents were among the more straight-up of their stage-parent peers. When you compare Shirley's story with that of, say, Jackie Cooper or "Baby Peggy", you can see how truly lucky she was.
formerly known as just plain Jess
Old 07-06-2001, 11:55 AM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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I believe a while back, I saw some pictures of her in her teens-very pretty girl.

Although, I suppose it's no worse than the young girls today immitating Britaney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Old 07-06-2001, 03:40 PM
SpaceGhostofArrakis SpaceGhostofArrakis is offline
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Did Shirly Temple do Kiddie Porn
Great, now I have the perfect dinner conversation with my parents tonight.
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Old 07-07-2001, 12:06 PM
DAVEW0071 DAVEW0071 is offline
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SexyWriter said:
But could it be that her rise to stardom was partly due to a push to have female leads in a more "appropriate" roll? To put them back on a man's lap, using their female charms where they belonged?
I'd never heard that theory, and it may have some merit. However, my own theory is that America needed something uplifting and hopeful during the Great Depression, and Shirley Temple fit the bill.

I agree that ST was talented. That is obvious from watching her performances. But her popularity cannot be attributed to that alone. There's something more at work here. That being said, let me say that I simply cannot bear the cutesy-pie antics of this child, nor can my daughter. But we're from a different time. My brother's mum-in-law still loves Shirley, and will watch anything the little moppet did and not grow weary of it nor wish to vomit. But she's a Depression-Era person.

I believe that Shirley Temple brought a ray of hope to audiences who were lucky if they could scrape up the nickel admission to the Bijou. While I'm not versed in all the Temple film plots, I do know that more than a few of them concern Shirley rising from the depths of an orphanage or teaching "mean old grown-ups" the things that truly matter. These themes were used over and over again during the '30s, but it may have had more of an impact coming from a 7-year-old rather than from Ginger Rogers or Marlene Dietrich. And audiences of the day embraced the message and the messenger both.
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