"This set is wonderful but, a few things have changed since this set was first announced. it was to be a 2 disc set and the 2 films were to be the colorized versions. What this set has is just 1 DVD and so both movies are on 1 disc and in black and white. The back of the DVD case shows the colorized photos which makes you think the films are the color versions. The menus also show colorized photos. The VHS versions which are in color looked very good but for some reason Universal decided to not include them.
The real prize of this DVD is the extra, which is Shirley's very first movie and which has NEVER before been available on VHS or DVD or 16MM or any other format. "THE RUNT PAGE".Shirley is not shown much at all during the 10 minutes this film runs. She is shown right after the opening credits and then again during the last 3 minutes. She is very adorable here and, for this first film short, she is wearing only shorts, she would be covered up more in her next 7 berlesk film shorts. In this film short, she is aware of the camera and theres a few times where she is looking at it. She is so very adorable in her scenes and its amazing that at this time she was 3 years old!
You will really enjoy this film short as well as the 2 movies which are in super quality!
Not a good value for a "Franchise Collection"
Yarby | Medina, OH United States | 06/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"First off, this "set" only contains two full movies. That alone makes this far less of a value than Universal's many other "Franchise Collections", such as those for Abbott & Costello, "Ma and Pa Kettle", and "Francis the Talking Mule".
Secondly, the transfers are very substandard. No effort whatsoever has been made to clean up these films, and the result is a transfer equivalent to a Madacy release.
Definitely not one of Universal's better values."
MacGuffin | New York City | 06/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I cringed when I realized that these Paramount gems had been rereleased by Universal, but I needn't have worried. Contrary to the review previous to this one, the prints look and sound quite good, even--incredibly--The Runt Page, which is the oldest feature on the disk. The captions are, for once, quite accurate, and I believe there are some other language options as well. On the downside, the only insert is an ad for other titles in the series--no hard-copy chapter list. It also seems to me that perhaps commentary by Mrs. Black (Temple's married moniker) might have added value to the package. If you're not familiar with Shirley Temple, be warned: you're about to witness a full-fledged phenomenon. Shirley Temple is one of the most remarkable women ever born, and is certainly the greatest child star of all time. Sadly, she--despite her subsequent political achievments--is virtually never cited for her considerable accomplishments by advocates of women's groups, presumably because her political beliefs are "incorrect." My response to this (and to them) is "phooey." Her husband was once quoted as saying that he believes his wife "is some kind of deity"; watch her do her stuff and decide for yourself. Now, isn't it about time for Fox to do right by the little dynamo who single-handedly took them out of the red during the Great Depression?"
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 07/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD collects two of Shirley Temple's earliest movies and her very first short in one pack. The movies are "Little Miss Marker" and "Now and Forever." The short is "The Runt Page." Fans of Shirley Temple will want these early films for their collection.
"The Runt Page"
Shirley Temple has a minor role in this ten minute short. She is rarely seen and has no speaking part. Actually, none of the child actors has a speaking part as adults voiced all parts. This short is a satire of "The Front Page," which was released the year before, and features a host of small children dressed in diapers acting a short vignette based on that movie. The short is fair, and by itself would probably rate only three stars. The material is dated, the sound is poor, and I found the short somewhat tedious to watch.
"Little Miss Marker"
I have seen many, and perhaps most, of Shirley Temple's later movies. Those movies feature Shirley in various states of peril. However, I was unprepared for Shirley being a marker for a bet. Though I was initially appalled that any father could use a child as a marker, the movie was actually quite well done and the only character who failed to come away improved from their contact with Shirley was Shirley's father.
Marthy "Marky" Jane (Temple) is left by her father (Edward Earle, in an uncredited role) as a marker for a bet. We do not see Marky's father again, but we learn that he lost his bet and committed suicide. We wonder what will become of Shirley, but, never fear, Shirley charms even the meanest of hoodlums. The ending provides redemption for the worst of the crowd, and foreshadows even more poignant (or maudlin, depending on your point of view) future Shirley Temple roles.
In addition to Temple, the standout actor in this film is Adolphe Menjou as Sorrowful Jones. Dorothy Dell was also quite good as a singer and marginal woman of ill repute Bangles Carson. Unfortunately, Dell's career would be cut short soon after this film when she was killed in a car accident.
The picture quality of this film is quite good and the sound is fair. I thought both were acceptable considering the age of the movie and the likely quality of the original prints. Improvements in both may be possible with newer technology, but complaints of either the picture or sound in this version are, in my opinion, unwarranted.
If you can get past the initial concept of a father betting his daughter on a horse race, fans of Shirley Temple will enjoy this cute film.
"Now and Forever"
This movie is even stranger than the previous movie. Gary Cooper plays a swindler(!), which seems strange given that he was already a star and had appeared in more than 50 movies. I found it hard to accept Gary Cooper as a crook, even if he found redemption, as most co-stars did, with Shirley Temple.
Jerry Day (Cooper) is offered the opportunity to allow his brother-in-law to raise the daughter he has not seen in years, Penelope "Penny" Day (Temple). Penny's mother died soon after Penny was born and Jerry headed out to make his living my stealing. Initially Jerry sees this offer as an opportunity to get a lot of money for a child he cares nothing about. However, after meeting Penny, Jerry is charmed and decides he wants to raise her after all.
Love interest Toni Carstairs (Carole Lombard) wants to settle down in one place and wants to stop Jerry's swindling, but does not think Jerry can do it. Jerry tries hard to quit, but discovers that working at a real job does not pay enough for Penny's private school. Jerry works one last job with jewel thief Felix Evans (Guy Standing), but soon regrets what he did, courtesy of his personal conscience Penny.
The end of this movie is similar to many others with Shirley Temple. Everyone is redeemed except for one person, and though the messy details are left off camera, the ending is happy.
As with "Little Miss Marker," the quality of this film is good. The sound is probably better in this film than the previous film. I found both to be quite acceptable for a film of this era. My biggest struggle was with Gary Cooper in the role of a crook. Cooper really did not pull of this role very well. Further, Carole Lombard was too nagging as Toni Carstairs. The only person walking away from this film with their reputation intact was Shirley Temple, who was incredibly cute and the scene stealer throughout. Actually, there was one other standout performance, and that was Charlotte Granville as Mrs. J.H.P. Crane. I will leave a viewer to discover why I thought her performance was very good or even excellent.
Shirley Temple was well on her way to becoming a phenomenon when she made this movie. She rolls over Cooper and Lombard, both of whom were billed ahead of her, and becomes the real star of this movie. Fans of Temple will absolutely need this movie for their collection. Enjoy! "
Little Darling Pack
Jeff F. | San Diego | 09/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great opportunity to see rare Shirley Temple in pristine form. The Runt Page is Shirley's first movie with the Baby Burlesque group. Although her part is small, it is great to see her so young - Age 4. She was so cute even then. Now and Forever has a young Shirley starring with the great actress Carole Lombard. I am a big Shirley fan, but I have never seen this movie before."