Review

  • TV showings of 'That Hagen Girl' became more and more rare as the years went on--but lately it surfaced on TCM when they saluted Shirley's birthday with showings of four of her films. Basically it's a story of the effect gossip has on a small-town girl (Temple as Mary Hagen)and lawyer (Ronald Reagan). Good performances by Rory Calhoun, Jean Porter and others. The meanness of the small-town gossip is well realized under Peter Godfrey's direction and the background score by Franz Waxman adds much to the melodramatic proceedings. Not really as bad as many would have you think. Shirley seems more poised and assured than usual (except in an embarrassing rendition from 'Romeo and Juliet') and she herself regards it as her best adult performance. Despite all of its flaws, it's worth viewing to watch the nineteen-year old actress opposite Ronald Reagan. His primary love interest in the film is Lois Maxwell (who later became Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films). The ending is rather unresolved and unsatisfying--a curious ending for an odd film.