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Young People 1940

G CC
4.3 out of 5 stars (71) IMDb 6.6/10

A show business family leaves the great white way and heads for a farm in New England. What results is the difficulties they have before they are accepted by the community.

Starring:
Shirley Temple, Jack Oakie, Charlotte Greenwood
Runtime:
1 hour, 19 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy, Kids & Family
Director Allan Dwan
Starring Shirley Temple, Jack Oakie, Charlotte Greenwood, Arleen Whelan
Supporting actors George Montgomery, Kathleen Howard
Studio Fox
MPAA rating G (General Audience)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"Young People" was Shirley Temple's final film under contract at Twentieth-Century Fox. Although she would go on to make some excellent movies as a teenager and young adult, "Young People" effectively marked the end of her reign as a child star.
In this picture Temple plays Wendy Ballentine, the adopted daughter of two vaudeville stars (Jack Oakie and Charlotte Greenwood). She literally grows up onstage (just as Temple grew up before film audiences in the 1930s), stealing scenes from her parents and becoming an integral part of the act.
However, the Ballentines yearn for a more stable and "normal" existence, and, thus, retire from show business to take up residence in a hamlet in the countryside. It isn't an easy transition: the townsfolk seem to have a poor opinion of "show people" and shun the Ballentine family. Wendy also has trouble adjusting to life offstage: she reads "Variety" at home, teaches her entire class to do splashy musical theatre numbers and tap dances around her living room.
Of course, all ends well. On their way out of town (returning to the warm world of vaudeville), Wendy and her parents rescue a local child in a storm. The Ballentines save the day, the town is grateful, and the residents finally learn to peacefully coexist with their colorful neighbors.
Temple's Fox swan song was not her strongest picture story-wise, but it did inadvertently give her the chance to say farewell. One of the most touching scenes in the film is the Ballentine's last performance at the theatre, where, after giving a show-stopping tap number, Wendy addresses the audience and thanks them for their support over the years.
Oakie and Greenwood, as the senior Ballentines, gave wonderful performances. They actually were ex-vaudevillians, and were given some great opportunities to show off their numerous talents. Temple, of course, was also top-notch in her dance and acting.
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Format: DVD
YOUNG PEOPLE (1940) was, despite it's mix of the regular Temple movie trappings, an even bigger flop at the box office than THE BLUE BIRD, released earlier that same year. Back in black-and-white, and with the "child star" cuteness becoming a slightly uncomfortable fit for the rapidly maturing twelve-year-old Temple, it lacks a certain zest; although Temple gives a great performance and is matched every step of the way by her co-stars Jack Oakie and Charlotte Greenwood.

The story follows vaudeville team Joe and Kitty Ballantine (Oakie and Greenwood) and their adopted daughter Wendy (Temple) as they attempt to retire on a farm in New England, only to find hostility and scorn from their old-fashioned, small-minded neighbours.

This was Shirley's last movie for Fox. After her two failures in 1940 (and with no scripts on the immediate horizon), it was decided, in an agreement between producer Darryl F. Zanuck and Temple's parents, to finally terminate her contract. Oddly enough, one of the songs in the film ("Young People") contains lyrics that keenly reflected Temple's personal situation at the time. Audiences wanted Shirley to remain a curly-haired moppet, Temple wanted to grow up. Something had to give...

YOUNG PEOPLE features a clever prologue in which we actually "see" the Wendy/Temple character grow up whilst performing in the Ballantine's act. This was achieved by using a body double for long-shots, intercut with footage of Shirley herself performing "The Beaches of Waikiki" from 1935's CURLY TOP, and "Baby, Take a Bow" from 1934's STAND UP AND CHEER! Despite it's shortcomings, YOUNG PEOPLE is a solid movie and a worthy and touching coda to Shirley Temple's Fox years.
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Format: DVD
Shirley Temple movies are almost a pick me upper in difficult times. My family and I like to watch these from time to time. Product arrived on time and in good condition
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Shirley Temple's last few films for Twentieth-Century Fox were not box office successes, so the 1940 feature YOUNG PEOPLE became her last film for the studio, and her last musical (Shirley was 12). Shirley plays Wendy Ballantine, the adopted daughter of two vaudevillians (Jack Oakie and Charlotte Greenwood). The film follows The Three Ballantines throughout their career, using archival footage from some of the real-life Shirley's earlier films. They decide to retire from show business and move to a bucolic New England farm community, where they are not welcomed by the neighbors, who distrust showbiz folk, and their hostility increases when Wendy puts together a musical starring her classmates. Eventually, the Ballantines get tired of all this abuse, and decide to return to vaudeville. On their way out, their car gets stuck in the mud during a severe storm, and they rescue some children who are also stranded (although one child was missing, but was eventually rescued). Oddly enough, the Ballantines' rescue efforts make them heroes in the eyes of their formerly hostile neighbors, and they decide to stay in New England after all.

The musical numbers, mostly in the first part of the film, are superb. Shirley's great dancing, particularly on "Fifth Avenue," makes you wonder what might have been if she had stayed in musical comedy.

Aside from the usual fake stereo, English mono, and Spanish mono soundtracks, plus English, Spanish, and this time French subtitles, the only extra is the theatrical trailer. This film was not colorized, thank goodness.

This is one of Shirley's most entertaining films, and a nice way to end her Fox and child-star career. R.I.P., dear Shirley...
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