Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shirley you're joking!

Dave Kehr's NYT review of the Shirley Temple DVD set is an exemplary piece of criticism!

This is a familiar position for Ms. Temple, who lacks one or both parents in most of her Fox films. In a plot device that Walt Disney would later take up in several of his live-action films, the child is effectively allowed to generate her own parents, an innovative form of asexual reproduction that solved more than one problem in the puritanical Production Code years. But with Ms. Temple the device seems more than merely evasive: her unstoppable energy and cheerfulness shake the adults out of their emotional paralysis, setting things right psychologically, socially and (thanks to the redistribution of wealth Ching-Ching slyly brings about) even economically.

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