X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House From the archive

Shirley Temple, 1928 – 2014, remembered in The Spectator

11 February 2014

11:44 AM

11 February 2014

11:44 AM

Shirley Temple has died in California at the age of 85. She was known as America’s little darling after she appeared in her first film at the age of three. Later in life she moved into politics, running for Congress and joining the diplomatic corps. Henry Kissinger, she said, was surprised she knew where Ghana was, but she became ambassador to Ghana and later to Czechoslovakia.

As for her films, Graham Greene, reviewing Shirley Temple’s latest performance in August 1936, was rather shocked:

Captain January, the latest Shirley Temple picture, is sentimental, a little depraved, with an appeal interestingly decadent… Shirley Temple acts and dances with immense vigour and assurance, but some of her popularity seems to rest on a coquetry quite as mature as Miss Colbert’s, and on an oddly precocious body as voluptuous in grey-flannel trousers as Miss Dietrich’s.

[Alt-Text]


Her precocious body perhaps seemed a little more suitable when she was 18 and appeared in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, alongside Carey Grant. Virginia Graham was impressed, despite herself.

It will come as a great shock to those people who, like myself, were under the impression that Shirley Temple was eight, to find that she is now eighteen, married and a mother. Strangely enough the years, while heightening her stature and rounding her figure, have made no sort or kind of impression on her face, which has remained congealed in the same merry mould of dimpled immaturity that was the delight, or alternatively the despair, of the cinema-going public… In spite of this facial petrifaction Miss Temple gives a lively intelligent interpretation of a bobby-soxer in the throes of her first love affair with a man much older than herself. The part is thoroughly inane, and she copes with it in a masterly fashion.

When she ran for Congress 1967, Christopher Hollis reported her plans in rhyme:

Shirley Temple is running as a Republican candidate for Congress on a platform which promises her constituents ‘a happier time for all through moral revolution.’

Says Shirley Temple—Mrs Black— I think that I will have a crack

At moral revolution.

The plank on which I choose to run

Is everything for everyone— An admirable solution.

Since peace is pleasanter than war

And being rich than being poor,

My special contribution

Is, as I think you will agree,

That everyone should vote for me

And save the constitution.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close