Young People (1940)

Young Peopleyoung people poster
Directed by Allan Dwan
Written by Edwin Blum and Don Ettlinger
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

First viewing/Netflix rental


Tagline: FUN and songs! Fun AND songs! Fun and SONGS! …DANCES TOO!

Jack Oakie and Charlotte Greenwood make this a better than average Shirley Temple movie.

Vaudeville troopers Joe and Kit Ballentine (Oakie and Greenwood) get a baby delivered to them during the show.  They decide to keep little Wendy (Temple) and she later becomes the centerpiece of their act.  Along with Wendy, they inherit a little farm, complete with mortgage, in New England.  They decide they will work for five years and make payments and then retire to the country with Wendy.  Their dream comes true but they soon find that the people of their chosen community are anything but welcoming.  They do have some allies in the form of the younger generation in the town.

Young People 1

The first 20 minutes of this comprising the vaudeville act are great fun.  The filmmakers have spliced some footage of the six-year-old Temple with Oakie and Greenwood in a delightful way.  “Baby Take a Bow” is adorable.  I enjoyed seeing Jack Oakie doing some tap dancing.  Even though she is older and less “cute”, the rest of the film is standard fare with Temple eventually winning over all who know her.

This was Temple’s last film on her 20th Century Fox contract.  She was 12 years old.

Clip – Shirley Temple sings “I Wouldn’t Take a Million”

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