Baby Take a Bow
|Baby Take a Bow|
|Directed by||Harry Lachman|
|Produced by||John Stone|
Edward E. Paramore Jr.
James P. Judge
|Music by||David Buttolph|
|Cinematography||L. William O'Connell|
|Distributed by||Fox Film|
|Running time||76 minutes|
Baby Take a Bow is a 1934 American comedy drama film directed by Harry Lachman. The screenplay by Philip Klein and Edward E. Paramore Jr. is based on the play Square Crooks by James P. Judge. Shirley Temple plays the child of an ex-convict (James Dunn) trying to make a better life for himself and his family. The film was a commercial success and is critically regarded as pleasant and sentimental. A musical number features Dunn and Temple.
After serving time in Sing Sing, Eddie Ellison marries his fiancée Kay, and eventually the two have a daughter they name Shirley. Eddie helps his friend and former convict Larry Scott, who is engaged to Shirley's dance instructor Jane, get a job as a chauffeur for his employer, factory owner Stuart Carson.
Trigger Stone, who also served time in Sing Sing, steals Mrs. Carson's pearl necklace and asks Eddie and Larry to sell it for him, but they refuse. Private investigator Welch, the man responsible for Eddie's conviction, tells the head of the National Insurance Company he suspects the chauffeurs are guilty of the robbery and informs Mr. Carson home about their prison records, prompting him to fire them.
Trying to escape from the police, Trigger gives the pearl necklace to Shirley, who believes it is a belated birthday present. As part of a game, she hides it in her father's pocket, and when he finds it while Welch is searching the apartment, he conceals it in the carpet sweeper, but unbeknownst to him the neighbor's maid Anna borrows it and empties it before returning it. Kay returns home, and when she hears the story they try to open the sweeper. Welch returns and opens it himself, only to find it empty.
After Welch leaves, Eddie, Larry, Kay and Jane search the apartment building for the necklace. When Trigger threatens Eddie with a gun, Eddie subdues him and ties him up, then goes for the police. During his absence, Shirley discovers the necklace in the garbage can downstairs. She brings it to Eddie but instead finds Trigger, who convinces her to let him free. He takes her hostage and climbs to the roof, where he shoots Eddie. Although injured, Eddie manages to capture Trigger. Shirley takes the necklace from Trigger's pocket, and detective Flannigan tells her she will be eligible for the $5,000 reward.
James P. Judge's play Square Crooks was filmed under that title in 1928 by Lewis Seiler. The working titles for the remake were Always Honest and Going Straight. Both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported the film was banned in Germany, although no reason was given by the German censors.
Based on the success of Little Miss Marker and Stand Up and Cheer!, Temple's Fox salary was raised to $1250 per week, and her mother's salary as coach and hairdresser was raised to $150 per week. The film's title was taken from a song Temple had sung in Stand Up and Cheer!. Temple and Dunn would work together in other films with Temple always taking top credit.
- Shirley Temple as Shirley Ellison
- James Dunn as Eddie Ellison
- Claire Trevor as Kay Ellison
- Alan Dinehart as Welch
- Ray Walker as Larry Scott
- Dorothy Libaire as Jane Scott
- Ralf Harolde as Trigger Stone
- James Flavin as Det. Flannigan
- Richard Tucker as Stuart Carson
- Olive Tell as Mrs. Carson
The movie was very successful at the box office.
Temple biographer Anne Edwards thought the film "pleasant, sentimental" and that it "had very little other than Shirley to recommend it at the box office."
In 2009, the film was available on videocassette and DVD in both the original black and white and in computer-colorized versions. Some editions had special features and theatrical trailers.
- Windeler, Robert (1992) . The Films of Shirley Temple. New York: Carol Publishing Group. p. 135. ISBN 0-8065-0725-X.
- Baby Take a Bow at Turner Classic Movies
- Edwards, Anne (1988). Shirley Temple: American Princess. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. p. 66.
- THE YEAR IN HOLLYWOOD: 1984 May Be Remembered as the Beginning of the Sweetness-and-Light Era By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL.HOLLYWOOD.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 30 Dec 1934: X5.
- Channel 4 review
- TV Guide review