Baby Take a Bow
Directed by Harry Lachman
Fox Film Corporation
Shirley Ellison: I’m not a kid, I’m a girl, and today is my birthday.
Kay (Claire Trevor) is waiting for her sweetheart Eddie Ellison (James Dunn) to be released from Sing Sing. Eddie goes straight and they marry and have an adorable little girl, Shirley (Shirley Temple), who they love dearly. Fast forward to six years later and Eddie is working as a chauffeur for a wealthy family. Fellow ex-con Trigger Stone shows up and wants Eddie to fence some stolen property. Eddie refuses. A valuable pearl necklace is stolen from Eddie’s employer and insurance inspector Welch, who has long had it in for Eddie, tries to pin the blame on him. Shirley helps clear her father’s name.
Shirley is irresistible, to those of us who love her, in this film, released when she had just turned six years old. James Dunn is her ideal Daddy and Claire Trevor turns in a good performance as her mother. This is part prison film, part gangster film, and part musical. It all works in that 1930’s studio alternative reality. No masterpiece but I enjoyed it.
Excerpts – song “On a Account-a I Love You” starts at 3:14