Ya, I know that Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm isn’t a Western.
And NO, I’m not starting a new blog called My Favorite Farmers.
Nothing against farmers, but I just found this connection between Shirley and Randolph to be interesting.
They made one more movie together in 1939.
It was a Western.
Susannah of the Mounties
A Shirley Temple movie all the way.
Randolph is not even on the banner.
Flaming Arrows! Cracking Rifles!
But peace can come at at price
“As an act of good will, Temple swore in all members of the Blackfoottribe as members of the Shirley TemplePolice Force while Temple was made an honorary member of theBlackfoottribe and given the name Bright Shining Star.”
(Guess I got that one right)
Shirley was now 11-years-old. Still a cute kid, but …
“Then the traveler in the dark Thanks you for your tiny spark, How could he see where to go, If you did not twinkle so?”
Not cute at all. *cough*
When I was a kid I hated Shirley Temple. On Saturday mornings I had to share TV time with my little sister – who always seemed to be watching a Shirley Temple movie. I just knew that Roy,Randolph, Rory, Cisco, andHopalong (or some other Western Star) was on the other channel. It was infuriating watching that little cherub dancing around when decent cowboys were galloping into the sunset! Many years later I came to appreciate Shirley as the very special person and talent that she was. Today when I look back on it all, I really have to marvel that she was the Top Box Office Star for four consecutive years: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938! Partly because I figured only women and girls were watching her movies!? It sure wasn’t me – or any guy that I knew. Could women and girls really have comprised that huge an audience?? Especially during the Great Depression? I still haven’t figured it out. It’s safe to say however, that Shirley – her incredible personality and talent – was a very important person during those very difficult and troubled days. She seemed a person born for the moment.
So … 5-year-old Shirley had an uncredited bit role in To the Last Man which Starred Randolph Scott. You can see on the poster below that she got no Billing in the movie.That would soon change. More than just a dimple and some curls.
I think Randy and Shirley got along just fine.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Flash ahead 5 years … to 1938. To Rebecca of SunnybrookFarm. Shirley is 10-years-old. Her Star has started to fade, but she still commands the Bill – as the Banner and Poster show. Randolph is second on the Bill now. Quite a turn around.
No CGI necessary But they still got along just fine
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
BY JANE TAYLOR Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are! Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky.
When the blazing sun is gone, When he nothing shines upon, Then you show your little light, Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Then the traveler in the dark Thanks you for your tiny spark, How could he see where to go, If you did not twinkle so?
In the dark blue sky you keep, Often through my curtains peep For you never shut your eye, Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark Lights the traveler in the dark, Though I know not what you are, Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
“A Fight to the Finish … which could only lead to … Death!”
You might think that these old Westerns are pretty formula – same Director, same Cast, etc. But when you dig a bit deeper you’ll find something special about each one. And To the Last Man has a couple of surprises.
To the Last Man / 1933
It’s 1933 – the Great Depression – the Dirty Thirties – and Henry Hathaway has just completed To the Last Man – the last of 5 Westerns that he Directed in 1933 – 4 of which Starred young Randolph Scott.
One special feature of all of these movies was that they were created from books written by legendary Western writer, Zane Grey. This assured us a good yarn, with strong characters and dialogue – unlike many of the pulp Westerns of the era.
This sometimes made for some unusual story telling. For instance, Scott (the Star of To the Last Man) doesn’t make his appearance in the movie until about the 23:00 minute mark! – and the movie is only 1:08 minutes long. Very few films would hold back the appearance of it’s Star for that long!
Yes these movies often used a cast of Stock players (Scott, Noah Beery, Buster Crabbe, Harry Carey, Raymond Hatton, Fuzzy Knight …)
BUT … let’s look at bit closer at the Casting list for To the Last Man:
Notice anything special? Any names that jump out at you?
If you say John Carradine I’ll definitely give you point.
BUT that’s not the name I’m talking about.
Waaaaay down on the list among the Uncredited Cast names …
Holy Doodle! It’sShirley Temple!
Yes, this was one of Shirley’s very first movies!
5-year-old Shirley is not a Star yet (obviously) and despite a line or two of dialogue
she gets no Credit.
I’m pretty sure that nobody at that time had any clue that in about 2 years Shirley would become one for the Biggest Movie Stars in Hollywood History
and the Movie Box-Office Champion for the consecutive years 1935-36-37-38.