I really liked this movie. It's not one of the greats, but a great example of the many ordinary feature films of the 1940's.
If you think of Shirley Temple as just a child actor, or Ronald Reagan as a third rate actor who's popularity quickly waned, this film will disabuse you of these ideas.
The story is about a girl (Shirley Temple) growing up in a small town who is victimized by rumors of her being the illegitimate child of Ronald Reagan. This character study has strong characters and a thin story line, but the fine acting holds the movie together. The plot line, while not compelling in and of itself, still allows for a story that is interesting and keeps you wondering just what will happen and how things will turn out in the end. The supporting cast also does a fine job. The antagonists of the film are not so vile that you hate them, they are just unlikable, arrogant and pretentious.
The film is a good rendition of "the way things were" in an age when tongues wagged over sexual scandals, and where you came from predisposed people to think of other people in very stereotypical ways. Mary Hagen having been born out of wedlock (or so it is rumored), is presumed to be a "bad girl" whose every act is viewed with suspicion and seen in the worst possible light. The class structure of small American towns in the 1940's is accurately depicted. All in all, this is a good film, well worth watching. I recommend it highly. Not all movies can be great, but this film is well worth watching as a quality movie, an example of what Hollywood can do when it merely doing a good job. See it.
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