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Sunday, March 1, 2015

'Honeymoon' DVD: Little Shirley (Temple) All Grown Up

Honeymoon (1947)
Warner Archive continues its tradition of releasing a batch of films by Hollywood royalty by making films by child star Shirley Temple as a young adult available on DVD. These films coming out just before the anniversary of the death of Temple makes them even more special.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube and Archive, perfectly conveys the humor and charm of the film and the sense that Temple is still America's sweetheart.

The 1947 "The Love Boat" style screwball romantic comedy "Honeymoon" has 19 year-old Temple playing almost 18 year-old Barbara Olmstead traveling to Mexico City to meet GI boyfriend Phil Vaughan to get married during his short break from his military duties.

The hilarity starts to ensue when Vaughan not arriving as scheduled prompts Olmstead to seek assistance at the American Embassy. This soon puts her in contact with older man David Flanner, a vice-consul who provides excellent consul but seems incapable of vice.

In true screwball comedy fashion, a long series of mishaps prolongs the amount of time and attention that Flanner must devote to Olmstead. The harm from said intimacy includes jeopardizing the relationship between Flanner and his fiancee.

"Roman Holiday" style adventures in this film include Flanner and Olmstead taking a boat trip in a local canal, spending a very innocent night in the apartment of Flanner, and comically tense moments during a prolonged social event at the home of the aforementioned fiancee.

The hilarity that ensues when Olmstead and Vaughan find each other commences when Vaughan makes the racy by 1947 standards comment in response to learning that his wedding will be delayed that he is not made of stone. This sets the stage for wonderful moments when our young (not quite) lovers try to surmount obstacles in their bridal path.

Other purposefully not-so-dramatic conflict arises when Olmstead convinces herself that she wants a man in the form of Flanner, rather than a boy in the form of Vaughan. The amusing part is that Temple shares her feelings in the same pouty manner as she acts in her earlier films.

This sense of little Shirley all grown up but staying true to her roots is a major part of what makes this minor film such a delight. In this respect, she is much more of a Michael J. Fox than a Lindsay Lohan.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Honeymoon" is strongly encouraged to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.

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