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

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Shirley Temple and Jerome Courtland
KISS AND TELL (1945). Director: Richard Wallace. Screenplay by F. Hugh Herbert from his play.

"I think it's all very dumb."

Teenager Corliss Archer (Shirley Temple of Miss Annie Rooney) is a fickle, rather spoiled young lady, but she knows how to keep her mouth shut -- at the wrong time. This is one of those movies when a whole lot of complications could be avoided simply by having the characters reveal the truth, which would certainly make things less of a mess than lying. Corliss' older brother, Lenny (Scott Elliot), has married her best friend, Mildred (Virginia Welles) but are keeping it secret, with the convoluted result that Corliss' parents think she is pregnant [not that that word is ever used!] by her sometime boyfriend, Dexter (Jerome Courtland of Sunny Side of the Street). Of course Corliss doesn't reveal the truth, even though the fact that Mildred is expecting would certainly jettison any plans her parents might have for having the marriage annulled, something that never occurs to the none-too-bright Corliss. if the movie has anything going for it it's the performances, which are swell, with a spirited Temple in the lead, and good back-up from Courtland, Welles, and young Darryl Hickman as Mildred's brother, Raymond, who thinks everything is "very dumb" (and is right in most cases). Walter Abel also scores as Corliss' often apoplectic father. The maid Louise is played by Kathryn Card, Lucy's mother on I Love Lucy. Followed by A Kiss for Corliss in which Hickman took over the role of Dexter. Wallace also directed The Fallen Sparrow and many others.

Verdict: If you can put up with people behaving like nitwits ... **1/2.

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