Stowaway (1936 film)
|Directed by||William A. Seiter|
|Produced by||Buddy G. DeSylva|
William M. Conselman
Samuel G. Engel
|Music by||Harry Revel
|Cinematography||Arthur C. Miller|
|Editing by||Lloyd Nosler|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release dates||December 25, 1936|
|Running time||87 minutes|
Stowaway is a 1936 American musical film directed by William A. Seiter. The screenplay by William M. Conselman, Nat Perrin, and Arthur Sheekman is based on a story by Samuel G. Engel. The film is about a young orphan called "Ching Ching" (Shirley Temple) who stows away on a ship and is adopted by Tommy Randall (Robert Young) and his wife Susan (Alice Faye). The film was hugely successful , and is available on videocassette and DVD.
Barbara "Ching-Ching" Stewart is an orphan living in Sanchow, China. When bandits threaten, she is taken to Shanghai for safety and meets Tommy Randall, a rich playboy traveling about the world on a ship. Barbara accidentally becomes a stowaway on his ship. When discovered, she is provided for by Tommy and Susan Parker, a passenger on the ship engaged to the son of her traveling companion, Mrs Ruth Hope. Susan and Tommy become romantically involved. Barbara plays Cupid in furthering their romance. The couple realize they love Barbara and want to do the best for her after learning she will be put off the ship and sent to an orphan's asylum. Susan breaks her engagement with Richard Hope, Ruth's son, after discovering his selfish nature and marries Tommy. The two adopt Barbara.
- Shirley Temple as Barbara "Ching-Ching" Stewart, a Chinese orphan
- Robert Young as Tommy Randall, a playboy and world traveler, Barbara's adoptive father
- Alice Faye as Susan Parker, Mrs Hope's shipboard companion and the wife of Tommy Randall, Barbara's adoptive mother
- Helen Westley as Mrs Hope, Susan's companion
- Allan Lane as Richard Hope, the son of Mrs. Hope and Susan's ex-fiance
- Eugene Pallette as the Colonel, Tommy's friend
- Astrid Allwyn as Kay Swift, Tommy's friend
- Jayne Regan as Dora Day, Tommy's friend
- Arthur Treacher as Atkins, Tommy's valet
- Philip Ahn as Sun Lo, Barbara's friend in Sanchow
- Willie Fung as Chang, Sun-lo's friend and a boatman
- Robert Greig as Captain of SS Victoria
- J. Edward Bromberg as Judge J. D. Booth
- Layne Tom Jr. as Chinese Boy in the Musical Band (uncredited)
Temple learned forty words in Mandarin Chinese for the film, later stating the learning process required six months of instruction (Edwards 101, 306). In the film, she impersonates Ginger Rogers (with a life-sized male doll fixed to her toes), Eddie Cantor, and Al Jolson singing “Mammy” . Temple’s IQ was tested during the Stowaway period and found to be 155, the genius classification.
The film features three songs by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon: "Goodnight, My Love" (sung by Temple, reprised by Faye), "One Never Knows, Does One?" (Faye), and "You Gotta S-M-I-L-E To Be H-A-Double-P-Y" (Temple). Other songs are "Please" by Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin (sung by a Chinese performer in a theater), and the film's finale, "That's What I Want for Christmas" by Gerald Marks and Irving Caesar (sung by Temple).
Variety remarked, “It’s a nifty Shirley Temple comedy with musical trimmings.” Variety commented, “Whether or not due to Seiter’s efforts, [Shirley] does not appear to have outgrown […] the Little Miss Marker stage in this one as she had in her last pictures”.
The New York Times applauded the film, noting that Temple had “an amusing script behind her, an agreeable adult troupe with her, and a clever director before her.” The reviewer thought the film the best from Temple since Little Miss Marker
In 2009, Stowaway was available on videocassette and DVD in the black and white original and in computer-colorized versions of the original. Some versions featured theatrical trailers and other special features.
- Windeler, p. 179.
- Edwards, p. 102.
- Edwards, p. 101.
- Nugent, Frank S. (1936-12-19). "'Stowaway,' an Engaging Comedy in Which Shirley Temple Talks Chinese, Opens at the Roxy.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- Edwards, Anne (1988), Shirley Temple: American Princess, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.
- Windeler, Robert (1992) , The Films of Shirley Temple, New York: Carol Publishing Group, ISBN 0-8065-0725-X