Young People


1h 18m 1940

Brief Synopsis

Shirley's last film on her 20th Century Fox contract (aged 12). Her parents (Oakie, Greenwood) decide to retire from show biz so she can have a normal life. They are unwelcome in the small town until a storm lets the family show their stuff. Clips from earlier films fill in Shirley's background.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Come Back
Release Date
Aug 30, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 24 Aug
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,231ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

When their old friend, Barney O'Hara, dies, vaudevillians Kit and Joe Ballantine adopt his infant daughter Wendy. Wendy is barely able to walk when she joins the Ballantines' song-and-dance act, and although she is beloved by her audiences, Joe and Kit think that she deserves a normal life instead of one filled with hotel rooms and trains. Consequently, they purchase a farm in Stonefield, Vermont and leave the theater. The gregarious Ballantines arrive in Stonefield to find that they are unwelcome by the narrow-minded citizenry, who are led by Hester Appleby, the hidebound town matriarch and schoolteacher. They are are welcomed, however, by newspaper owner Mike Shea, the only person in town who believes in change. Mike's outspoken opinions create problems in his courtship of Judith, Hester's niece. During a town meeting, the civic-minded Joe supports Mike's idea to promote tourism, and to humiliate Joe, the citizenry appoints him a one-man chamber of commerce. While Mr. Dakin and others make fun of Joe behind his back, Wendy transforms Hester's prosaic school show into a dynamic vaudeville act. When the children stage the show, however, their parents object to the material and stop it in mid-performance. This last humiliation prompts the Ballantines to decide to pack up and return to show business. In a final act of cruelty, one of the children tells Wendy that she is adopted. A raging storm strikes on the day of their departure, and on their way to the train station, they find a group of lost children and take them to Hester's house for shelter. Discovering that little Jerry Dakin is still lost in the storm, Joe braves the weather to rescue the boy. Joe's bravery forces the townsfolk to revise their opinions of the newcomers, and they finally unite behind the Ballantines' progressive ideas.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Come Back
Release Date
Aug 30, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 24 Aug
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,231ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this picture was The Come Back, and it was Shirley Temple's last picture on her seven-year Twentieth-Century Fox contract. An early Hollywood Reporter production chart lists Arthur Miller as photographer. Studio publicity adds that Sidney Lanfield was originally to have directed, but was re-assigned to Elsa Maxwell's Public Deb No. 1. Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library indicate that the original story idea was dictated by Darryl F. Zanuck, who wanted to show Temple growing up on screen in front of a live audience. According to studio press releases, the success of the film's preview led Fox producer Sol Wurtzel to team George Montgomery and Arleen Whelan in the 1940 film Charter Pilot. Studio publicity stories note that Kathleen Howard, who played the harsh old maid "Hester," talked Allan Dwan into rewriting the ending of the film so that "Wendy" wins over "Hester," thus making her less of a heavy. Studio publicity also notes that the hurricane sequence in the film was shot using equipment from Fox's production The Rains Came (see below).