Temple's screen swansong
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 08/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"ALMOST A BRIDE (aka "A Kiss for Corliss") provides a fitting finale to Shirley Temple's screen career. This was a sequel to the popular "Kiss and Tell", in which Temple first played the lovesick teen Corliss Archer.
In this delightful film, Corliss becomes infatuated with the handsome and worldly playboy Kenneth Marquis (David Niven). She decides to get even with her boyfriend Dexter (Darryl Hickman) and write some steamy - and fake - sections about Kenneth in her diary. Complications arise when the diary falls into the hands of Kenneth and her parents. Naturally her parents are mortified, but Kenneth decides to have a little fun and play along with Corliss' games, so he places an article in the paper announcing his engagement to her! Fantastic support is provided by Tom Tully, Gloria Holden, Kathryn Card and Robert Ellis (who would later go on to play Dexter in the short-lived television sitcom "Meet Corliss Archer").
Temple is ideally-suited to Corliss and the entire film is a bright and breezy delight. Had Temple continued her film career, she would have been sensational as a screwball comedienne. Sadly audiences could not (or indeed would not) accept that little "Curly Top" was all grown up and ready for more challenging roles, and thus Temple retreated from the screen. Still, it's great to see this film surfacing on DVD (through the 'Cinema Deluxe' label from Geneon Entertainment) at a bargain price.
If you enjoyed this film, you will also love the television sitcom "Meet Corliss Archer". Several volumes of episodes from the series are available from Alpha Video Classics.
Single-sided, single-layer disc
Audio: 2-channel Dolby stereo"
Precocious Temple coda
K. Williams | Los Angeles, CA USA | 07/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally released as KISS FOR CORLISS, this 1949 coda of Temple's silver screen performances again finds Corliss Archer (Shirley Temple) with a crush on an older man. She secretly confesses to her diary an imagined relationship with wealthy, though frequently married, Kenneth Marquis (David Niven), 20 years her senior. Out of spite for a despised Mr. Archer, attorney for his last wife, Marquis confirms the story after Corliss's parents discover the diary. Wedding plans ensue. This leads to a public scandal and jealous true boyfriend, Dexter Franklin (Darryl Hickman).
It seems the only roles offered to teenage Temple were ones where she nurtured affections for mature men. (THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER, 1947; I'LL BE SEEING YOU, 1945) Though she likely wanted to play more womanly parts, from her youth she was type cast as a precocious girl. The quality of this delightful B+W film is surprisingly poor (fair w/o digital restoration) considering it is the treasured climax of Temple theater. This was a wonderful vehicle for prolific child-star Hickman's unbridled antics which were much more subdued in LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945) and too brief in THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946). Though some of the acting may be a bit exaggerated, ALMOST A BRIDE is an enjoyable comedy for the entire family.
Movie quote: "Oh, and if the indignity of taking money from Daddy Dear ever becomes too great to bear, don't hesitate to call on me.""