Cast & Crew
In 1905, Dinah Sheldon, an enthusiastic art student, is expelled from Miss Ingram's Seminary for wearing two petticoats instead of five, attending political rallies and insisting that she be allowed to study nudes. When she is sent home to Baltimore, Dinah's understanding father, Dr. Andrew Sheldon, an Episcopalian pastor, easily forgives his headstrong daughter this latest calamity, but her mother Lily encourages her to be more conventionally feminine. Dinah's childhood sweetheart, Tom Wade, also believes that she should settle down and confesses that, since her absence, he has begun dating the more "continental" Bernice Eckert. Dinah feigns indifference to Bernice, telling Tom that her only ambition is to study art in Paris, and he agrees to help her fulfill her dream. When Dinah is arrested during a brawl in a public park, which starts after four loafers begin arguing over one of her paintings, the overworked Tom is asked to provide bail for all five. Out of gratitude, Dinah offers to write a speech for Tom on equality, which he is scheduled to deliver the next night at the Forum Society's Spring Dance. While preparing the speech, which is a modified version of one of her own debates, Dinah learns that her exit from jail was witnessed by two women, who then relayed the information to Dan Fletcher, Andrew's Scottish vestryman. Dan is upset by the scandal because Andrew has just become a candidate for the new bishop's post, and suggests that he punish Dinah. Instead, the less ambitious Andrew encourages Dinah's dreams by confessing that, as a youth, he had a short career as a ballroom dancer but gave it up to protect his father's reputation. That night, Dinah shows up late at the Forum Society, and Tom is forced to read her speech cold. He is shocked to discover that her "equality" topic is female emancipation and is laughed at by the large crowd. The humiliated Tom dotes on Bernice and informs Dinah that he no longer wants to be seen with her. Aware of Tom's rejection, Andrew offers to be Dinah's partner in a waltz contest, and father and daughter easily defeat Tom and Bernice. Later, Dinah visits Tom at the automobile garage where he works as a mechanic and begs him to pose for a portrait she intends to enter in a competition called "Spirit of Labor." Although Tom at first refuses to help, Dinah soon talks him into posing by promising to disguise his face in the finished painting. She then dresses him in a bathing suit and hammer and paints his likeness in the seclusion of the family greenhouse. Dinah enters the painting in the contest anonymously, but because Tom's face is clearly identifiable, her identity is soon surmised. In addition, because she painted Tom as half undressed, her reputation is called into question, and Andrew, who has been nominated to the bishop's job, is suddenly embroiled in yet another scandal. Tom is then fired from his job and dumped by a jealous Bernice. Pressured by Lily and Dan, Andrew reluctantly agrees to send Dinah to her aunt in Pittsburgh until his promotion is assured. Tom, meanwhile, finds himself hotly defending Dinah's honor to Bernice, and as the contrite Dinah is about to leave for the train station, he insists on riding with her in the family carriage. On the way there, a suffrage parade is harassed by a group of jeering men, and Dinah and Lily come to the women's rescue, causing a small riot. Just as a regretful Andrew is about to rush to the station to bring Dinah home, he learns of the incident and bails his family and Tom out of jail. The next day in church, Andrew tells Dan he has been "ruminating" about his future and delivers a critical, impromptu sermon on tolerance to his congregation. Andrew's stand moves his family to tears, and just as Tom finally confesses his love to Dinah, Andrew learns that he has been made bishop.
Richard H. Berger
M. S. Burns
John L. Cass
Russell A. Cully
Albert S. D'agostino
Robert De Grasse
Karl Herlinger Jr.
Adventure in Baltimore (1949) - Adventure in Baltimore
Having been the biggest child star in the world throughout the 1930s and 40s, Shirley Temple had made admirable efforts to transition into more age-appropriate roles as she grew up in films such as Since You Went Away (1944) and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947). Since 1944 Temple was under contract to famed film producer David O. Selznick after years of being a top level star for Twentieth Century-Fox. Selznick had been working to help Temple, now an attractive young woman, be accepted as an adult actress. Even though barely out of her teens, by the time Temple made Adventure in Baltimore she was already a married woman and a new mother to boot.
Also under contract to Selznick at the time was Temple's first husband, actor John Agar, which was no accident. The shrewd producer had previously featured the married couple in John Ford's Fort Apache (1948) starring John Wayne in an effort to capitalize on the public's interest in their off-screen relationship. For Adventure in Baltimore Agar was cast as Temple's boyfriend Tom. It was the second and final film that the couple made together before their divorce in 1950.
Filmed at RKO Studios, Adventure in Baltimore reunited Shirley Temple with director Richard Wallace. Wallace had also directed her in the hit 1945 comedy Kiss and Tell.
The film also marked the second time that Temple co-starred with Robert Young, who plays her father in Adventure in Baltimore. They had first worked together 13 years earlier on Stowaway (1936) in which he had played an adoptive father to her as a dimple-cheeked seven-year-old. Young found Temple all these years later to be "as confident and professional as she had been as a child."
According to Anne Edwards' 1988 biography Shirley Temple: American Princess, Temple had an enjoyable time on the production of Adventure in Baltimore. One crew member who worked on the film recalled, "Young and Shirley had a great rapport, and [Richard Wallace] played to it. Also, she was treated like a princess by both these men. I think she felt very comfortable."
Despite the film's warmth and Temple's winning performance, Adventure in Baltimore was a critical and box office disappointment. Shirley Temple would make only three more feature films in her career before retiring permanently from the silver screen.
by Andrea Passafiume
Adventure in Baltimore (1949) - Adventure in Baltimore
TCM Remembers - John Agar
Popular b-movie actor John Agar died April 7th at the age of 81. Agar is probably best known as the actor that married Shirley Temple in 1945 but he also appeared alongside John Wayne in several films. Agar soon became a fixture in such films as Tarantula (1955) and The Mole People (1956) and was a cult favorite ever since, something he took in good spirits and seemed to enjoy. In 1972, for instance, the fan magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland mistakenly ran his obituary, a piece that Agar would later happily autograph.
Agar was born January 31, 1921 in Chicago. He had been a sergeant in the Army Air Corps working as a physical trainer when he was hired in 1945 to escort 16-year-old Shirley Temple to a Hollywood party. Agar apparently knew Temple earlier since his sister was a classmate of Temple's. Despite the objections of Temple's mother the two became a couple and were married shortly after. Temple's producer David Selznick asked Agar if he wanted to act but he reportedly replied that one actor in the family was enough. Nevertheless, Selznick paid for acting lessons and signed Agar to a contract.
Agar's first film was the John Ford-directed Fort Apache (1948) also starring Temple. Agar and Temple also both appeared in Adventure in Baltimore (1949) and had a daughter in 1948 but were divorced the following year. Agar married again in 1951 which lasted until his wife's death in 2000. Agar worked in a string of Westerns and war films such as Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Breakthrough (1950) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949). Later when pressed for money he began making the films that would establish his reputation beyond the gossip columns: Revenge of the Creature (1955), The Brain from Planet Arous (1957), Invisible Invaders (1959) and the mind-boggling Zontar, the Thing from Venus (1966). The roles became progressively smaller so Agar sold insurance and real estate on the side. When he appeared in the 1988 film Miracle Mile his dialogue supposedly included obscenities which Agar had always refused to use. He showed the director a way to do the scene without that language and that's how it was filmed.
By Lang Thompson
DUDLEY MOORE, 1935-2002
Award-winning actor, comedian and musician Dudley Moore died on March 27th at the age of 66. Moore first gained notice in his native England for ground-breaking stage and TV comedy before later building a Hollywood career. Like many of his peers, he had an amiable, open appeal that was balanced against a sharply satiric edge. Moore could play the confused innocent as well as the crafty schemer and tended to command attention wherever he appeared. Among his four marriages were two actresses: Tuesday Weld and Suzy Kendall.
Moore was born April 19, 1935 in London. As a child, he had a club foot later corrected by years of surgery that often left him recuperating in the hospital alongside critically wounded soldiers. Moore attended Oxford where he earned a degree in musical composition and met future collaborators Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett. The four formed the landmark comedy ensemble Beyond the Fringe. Though often merely labelled as a precursor to Monty Python's Flying Circus, Beyond the Fringe was instrumental in the marriage of the piercing, highly educated sense of humor cultivated by Oxbridge graduates to the modern mass media. In this case it was the revue stage and television where Beyond the Fringe first assaulted the astonished minds of Britons. Moore supplied the music and such songs as "The Sadder and Wiser Beaver," "Man Bites God" and "One Leg Too Few." (You can pick up a CD set with much of the stage show. Unfortunately for future historians the BBC commonly erased tapes at this period - why? - so many of the TV episodes are apparently gone forever.)
Moore's first feature film was the 1966 farce The Wrong Box (a Robert Louis Stevenson adaptation) but it was his collaboration with Peter Cook on Bedazzled (1967) that's endured. Unlike its tepid 2000 remake, the original Bedazzled is a wolverine-tough satire of mid-60s culture that hasn't aged a bit: viewers are still as likely to be appalled and entertained at the same time. Moore not only co-wrote the story with Cook but composed the score. Moore appeared in a few more films until starring in 10 (1979). Written and directed by Blake Edwards, this amiable comedy featured Moore (a last-minute replacement for George Segal) caught in a middle-aged crisis and proved popular with both audiences and critics. Moore's career took another turn when his role as a wealthy alcoholic who falls for the proverbial shop girl in Arthur (1981) snagged him an Oscar nomination as Best Actor and a Golden Globe win.
However Moore was never able to build on these successes. He starred in a passable remake of Preston Sturges' Unfaithfully Yours (1984), did another Blake Edwards romantic comedy of moderate interest called Micki + Maude (1984, also a Golden Globe winner for Moore), a misfired sequel to Arthur in 1988 and a few other little-seen films. The highlight of this period must certainly be the 1991 series Orchestra where Moore spars with the wonderfully crusty conductor Georg Solti and leads an orchestra of students in what's certainly some of the most delightful television ever made.
By Lang Thompson
TCM Remembers - John Agar
The working titles of this film were Baltimore Escapade and Pittsburgh Escapade. The film opens with a comic voice-over narration and includes brief scenes showing Shirley Temple as a typical "American school girl" in 1948, 1925 and 1913, respectively. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, John Cromwell was to direct the picture, but because of disagreements with RKO over the screenplay, he was replaced by Richard Wallace. Hollywood Reporter also noted that Barbara Bel Geddes was to star in the film, but was replaced by Temple after complaining about appearing in another period piece (her previous screen role was in RKO's 1948 film I Remember Mama). A New York Times item announced that Melvyn Douglas was to play opposite Bel Geddes.
According to an item in Los Angeles Examiner, the portrait of "Tom" seen in the film was painted by artist James Korn, who also coached Temple for her painting scenes. Temple and co-star John Agar were married at the time of production and were both borrowed from David O. Selznick's company. Adventure in Baltimore was the second and last picture the couple, who divorced shortly after this film, made together. It was also one of the last films that production executive Dore Schary worked on before leaving RKO because of differences with new owner Howard Hughes. Modern sources note that the picture lost $785,000 at the box office.