4-year-old Shirley as a call girl???
29 December 2000
This is one truly bizarre film! The "Baby Burlesks" were a series of short films intended as an answer to the hugely popular "Our Gang" series, but in the "Burlesks" toddlers enacted adult roles with truly twisted and shocking results.

In this outing, 4-year-old Shirley Temple plays Polly Tix, a high-priced call girl who is sent by corrupt officials to influence a backwoods politician. There's racial stereotypes, racy dialogue and a rather bizarre cake fight. Little Shirley sashays across the screen in a manner that would make Madonna blush. Despite the lewdness of these little films, they are rather interesting, giving us a glimpse of a time when people thought differently than we do now, and child actors were merely cashcows for greedy studios and stage parents. (of course, that may still be the case today.)

Some other films in this series of child exploitation include: "War Babies," "Kid 'N' Africa," and "Kid 'N' Hollywood" in which Shirley Temple plays a Marlene-esque character called Morelegs Sweettrick! Reprehensable? Perhaps, depending on what their original intent was, but still an important capsule of our past.

These films are available on video in several collections, including Goodtimes Home Video's "Shirley Temple Festival" on the same tape as "The Little Princess" (1939).
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