As most of you have surely read by now, Shirley Temple Black passed away last night at the age of 85.
It’s been years since I watched a Shirley Temple movie, but I grew up on them when I was a little girl — Bright Eyes, Heidi, The Little Princess, The Little Colonel, etc. There are, of course, some not-so-awesome moments in these movies. (I hope no one’s offended by the clip above. I think it’s the first time a black man and a white girl ever danced together on screen, and it has never struck me as racist in any particular fashion — unlike other scenes — but sometimes things have to be pointed out before you see them. I do love this particular bit, though. I’m pretty sure it’s the genesis of my awe with tap dancing.)
I’m not sure all the Shirley Temple movies would hold up for me on repeat viewings — I just watched a couple of clips of Bright Eyes and found Temple a little too innocent to bear, although Jane Withers is even funnier than I remember her being — but they are pretty hugely nostalgic, and the little girl in me that actually liked frilly dresses and pink bows is always going to love them.
Rest in peace, Shirley Temple. You will be missed.