- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
0 Member Ratings
NO REVIEWS AVAILABLE
The title has not been reviewed. Be the first to write a review by clicking here to start.
Reagan plays against Small town prejudice.
Odd that Reagan, known as a Conservative President, played many roles as a person with liberal values. This film is precisely in that category. The film may be a little trite, and Shirley Temple, playing most of the film without knowing she is an orphan, would admit this was not her best film. However, both Reagan and she share a common misconception by the small minded town. ( Hollywood likes to show how prejudiced small town are). Reagan is suspected of being Temples natural father. That made her illegitimate. When this film was made, the subject was taboo. Probably hard to imagine for the younger viewers where single moms and their children were not the victims of prejudice. Reagan was unfortunately viewed as the father due to long relationship with a girl from the town's predominate family. Since Abortion was illegal, if the family could afford to send the unmarried but pregnant girl away during the 9 months of pregnancy, and then put the child up for adoption, a prominent family could avoid the "scandal". Reagan, as the boy friend at the time, was the obvious target as the father.The twist in the plot is that Reagan leaves town to go to college and returns as a lawyer. He is not aware that Hagen is viewed as his daughter. Reagan knows he was not the father, and does not aware that his youthful love did not result in paternity, but her mental illness. The family shuts her away from society. Meanwhile Mary Hagen is the adopted at the same time. As so often happens in life, a rumor turns into the "truth'. Reagan and a teacher defends the Hagen Girl. The plot seems to go astray at the end when Reagan falls in love, and marries Temple. The teacher who defended her, the more obvious candidate for Reagan's affection leaves town.The best line in the film is when two of the town's rumor mill ask "what are they going to talk about now"
It's Not That Bad!
- Muriel Schwenck
There have been so many negative things said about this movie, but honestly, it's not bad at all. It's a bit of an odd and complex story, probably best told as a novel or in a modern "mini series" format. (Without the restrictions of too much censorship.)The script only works because of the good actors: Reagan and Temple do their professional best with the script, along with a nice supporting cast of good character actors.Give it a chance. I got the impression that the novel is quite interesting. I've added the novel to my list of "Novels I'm Curious About"
Yeah.. It's Kind of Creepy
I watched this film for the first time today. I had never even heard of it. So I watched it and I couldn't believe the ending. I don't understand how this film even was made. The story was just wrong. It's very difficult to go through the whole movie basically seeing Reagan as Temple's father only to have them get married in the end! Yikes! After watching it, I came here and read the reviews. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one kind of creeped out by all of it. I can understand why it was a flop and I do hate to think Reagan blamed Temple. I think the main problem was the story itself. I don't see how anybody could have played Reagan's role well. I wish both of them had been able to turn this movie down and tell the studio no way!
Let Kids be kids
- Megan Skylar
Yes, it was corny, and yes R.R. was too shall we say "Mature", and poor Shirley should have had a chance to resolve the stigma over her young head, and simply run off with her high school boyfriend, Dewey Koons (Conrad Janis who specialized on heartthrob even at that age), was after all her age, cute as a button and someone I would have loved to kiss at her age. Oh. well, they went for drama...Ugg
- Courtney Pedersen
I came across this movie on TCM one afternoon. I felt like watching a classic film and read the description of this one and decided to give it a try. I've seen only one or two films of Ronald Reagan's and Shirley Temple's but I liked them enough to want to see this movie. I can say that it wasn't what I was expecting. The overall feel of the movie and script was darker than what I was thinking it would be. But I absolutely loved this movie. I thought it was a bit too short and that maybe they could've played it out a bit more but I loved how the movie concluded. I didn't think it would end that way but it was perfect. I keep looking for this movie on DVD but they still haven't released it. I would say that someone who isn't a big fan of Shirley Temple or Ronald Reagan might enjoy this more. Thats probably why I enjoyed it more than the other people who reviewed it because I hadn't seen alot of their films so I didn't really have anything to compare it to. But I'm glad I didn't because I sincerely enjoyed this film.
flawed but interesting
- Pierre de Plume
Because this film has several things working against it, some of the more interesting aspects get overlooked. In the year of the film's release, teen sexuality still was a dicey topic for general audiences -- although another film of the 40s, The Major and the Minor (Ginger Rogers/Ray Milland) was more enthusiastically accepted because it was a comedy (though today that film's sexual innuendo seems rather creepy).Another problem, no doubt, regarding "That Hagen Girl" is that its female star, Shirley Temple, was difficult for audiences to accept in a more grown-up role -- a stigma from which Temple never recovered.And then there's the stiff performance of Ronald Reagan.Aside from all these mitigating factors, the cinematography by the renowned Karl Freund is quite beautiful.Not until a decade or so later would American audiences respond more positively to similarly mature themes in such films as Peyton Place and those pulpy Lana Turner vehicles (e.g., Imitation of Life).This film is worth watching as a cultural curiosity.
A gothic film...
- Ann Brown
... that has a few script problems, which lead to a tentative approach by the director. Don't blame the cast, they don't write the lines and direct the film. The problem with the plot is that for most of the film the audience thinks that Reagan is Shirley's father, when in reality he is not. That would be ok storywise if the film gave the audience a reason to think that the older character played by RR has any relationship with Shirley, which would result in him falling in love with her. Her character is too remote, young and girlish and RR already has an acceptable love interest in Shirley's teacher. A rewrite, more surehanded direction, and adherence to a true gothic ethos would have improved the film. Even so, it is not terrible - I would watch it again.
One Of The Worst Films Ever?
- Bruce Reber
I have never seen "That Hagen Girl", but I once saw a list of the 10 worst movies ever made and this one was on it. I would like to see for myself if it is really as bad as all that. I guess most everybody ragged on it because it dealt with taboo subject matter for the 1940's (adoption and illegitimate children). I read the synopsis and it does look like a pretty unusual film for its time. Please show it again soon on TCM.
Give Shirley a break!
- Denise Fanelli
Critics and the public did to Shirley what the small minded, cruel gossips of the town did to her in the movie-blamed her for something that wasn't her fault. She played the role of the tortured girl with great credibility. This film flopped for two reasons 1)terrible premise - the "romance" between her and her possible father and 2)Ronald Reagan's absolutely flat, dull performance. They should have eliminated the romance aspect completely. It was so unclear throughout and there was NO chemistry between the two that when they marry in the end it is just plain stupid. I would have liked to see Reagan's character pay to send Mary to the University because he is a stand up guy. He does this despite the fact that he knows people will assume that he paid her way because he really IS her father. Then she would be free to build a new life for herself away from the cruel people of Jordan. I have read that Reagan and Shirley were not friends even though they were both involved in Republican politics in California because he "never forgave her for That Hagen Girl". His blame was misplaced.
Beautiful, Intriguing Movie
It's a great movie to teach any young person, whether they be adopted or not, that WHO they are is more important than where they came from. And in the end, she did have a plausible explanation, that the parents that she loved, that raised her, were indeed - all that she needed. It was a mystery, and intriquing, and the casting was top notch for the era.
- sharon a. quinn
I happened to catch this movie today because my office is closed for the holiday and I was feeling a bit under the weather. This movie did not make me feel better. As a matter of fact after this creepy film I decided that I needed a shower. The premise in a nutshell is that an adopted girl believes a mysterious stranger to be her birth father, suffers numerous indignities in her small minded town and then finds out that the stranger is not her father. This makes him marriage material and the "happy" ending reveals the mismatched duo embarking on their honeymoon. It's no wonder that Shirley decided to retire. I had the feeling that the studio was desperately trying to find an appropriate vehicle for the poor girl, but this really was a dud. The worst aspect of the film was the casting of Ronald Reagan as her father - oops, i mean her husband. He was terribly miscast and was not believable in either role. I happen to like Reagan and when I was a little girl, I wanted to be Shirley Temple. Now I have to rethink that.