Shirley Temple's father, a rebel officer, sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family and is arrested. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape. Everyone is captured and the ... See full summary »
Eddie Ellison is an ex-con who spent time in Sing-Sing prison. Kay marries him as soon as he serves his time. Five years later, Eddie and his ex-convict buddy Larry, have both gone straight... See full summary »
Wealthy Edward Morgan becomes charmed with a curly-haired orphan and her pretty older sister Mary and arranges to adopt both under the alias of "Mr. Jones." As he spends more time with them, he soon finds himself falling in love with Mary.
After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years ... See full summary »
Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »
Dimples Appleby lives with the pick-pocket grandfather in 19th century New York City. She entertains the crowds while he works his racket. A rich lady makes it possible for the girl to go legit. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is performed.
Considered Fox's answer to MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939), the film was an expensive failure and marked the end of Shirley Temple's unimpeachable star power. Audiences found the idea of Shirley playing a nasty character hard to swallow. See more »
When the group is in the Cemetery, Tylo jumps in the shallow grave instead of falling in. See more »
[sees the bird]
Look, Mytyl! There's one!
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Opening credits listed in hand turned pages of a book. See more »
Unusual Fantasy Deserves Honorable Mention Among Temple's Films
Although 'The Blue Bird' was not a resounding financial success at time of release, and has always been cited as being a poor imitation of 'The Wizard of Oz', it is an unjustly neglected film. Individual scenes are striking, as for example those depicting the unborn waiting in a kind of heavenly limbo (with billowing clouds) before sailing off to their destination on earth. (You can spot Dickie Moore and Scotty Beckett among the unborn lads.) Shirley Temple and Johnny Russell are tremendously appealing as the young sister and brother searching for the elusive blue bird of happiness. A highlight is Shirley's excursion to the Land of the Past where she visits her dead grandparents and does a charming song-and-dance to a yodel song. The studio would have been wise to incorporate a few more such songs. With added numbers, this might have been a much more successful film. As it is, her role is not strong enough, as written, and yet we can appreciate her by the film's end. She is particularly affecting in the scenes with the unborn children, showing genuine charm and affection and looking radiant in technicolor. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Special Effects and Color Cinematography), nominations which were well deserved. The spectacular forest fire is very effective, as are the special effects in general. In the supporting roles, Gale Sondergaard (as Tylette, the cat)has fun with a typical Sondergaard role, mistress of evil. Nigel Bruce and Spring Byington lend excellent support. Summing up, while the whole is not as great as its parts, this is a lavishly photographed film definitely worth viewing. Not a masterpiece, by any means, but there is much to appreciate and it should not be neglected.
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