Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Tom Tully, Shirley Temple and Gloria Holden
A KISS FOR CORLISS (aka Almost a Bride/1949). Director: Richard Wallace.

In this sequel to Kiss and Tell, Corliss Archer (Shirley Temple) gets in more hot water when her father, Harry (Tom Tully), represents the wife of a much-married man in a divorce action. Kenneth Marquis (David Niven), the husband in the case, hates Harry Archer and begins playfully courting his daughter for spite. Meanwhile Corliss writes fake stories about her involvement with Kenneth in her diary in order to make boyfriend Dexter (Darryl Hickman) jealous, resulting in the engagement of Kenneth and Corliss hitting the papers and Harry having conniption fits!.A Kiss for Corliss has an amusing script, but the problem is in the casting. Temple is fine as Corliss, but I can think of a dozen actors who could do more with the part and be a lot funnier than Tully (who played the role of a neighbor in the earlier film). Gloria Holden as Corliss' mother is most famous for playing the lead in Dracula's Daughter, but again she's hardly a skilled comedienne. Niven's role is completely one-dimensional but he displays his customary charm. Hickman, also cast in another role in the earlier film, takes over from Jerome Courtland as Dexter, and Kathryn Card returns as the Archer housekeeper, as does Virginia Welles as Corliss' friend, Mildred Pringle -- all are fine. Oddly, Mildred got married to Corliss' brother in Kiss and Tell, but seems to be single -- with no husband or brother in sight -- in the sequel. Robert Ellis [Space Master X-7] is fun as the nasty little teen Raymond Pringle; later he played Dexter in the 1954 TV series Meet Corliss Archer. This was Shirley Temple's last film, retiring from movies at the ripe old age of 21.

Verdict: Goodbye Shirley! **1/2. .


angelman66 said...

Shirley grew up to be a lovely young woman, but with nowhere near the charisma and spunk of her child star self, as we have noted earlier. And she knew it and wisely bowed out. I think my all-time favorite Temple film is Curly Top, or maybe Heidi or The Little Princess...or Since You Went Away as a teen...

But I am curious nevertheless to see this one again. It has been many years.

William said...

I wonder if Temple could have kept on working and gotten some decent roles as she got older. Well, we'll never know ...