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As America struggled through the Great Depression in the 1930s, a little girl with big dimples and indescribable charm danced her way into the hearts of moviegoers around the world. Based on the true story of child star Shirley Temple, portrayed by look-alike Ashley Rose Orr (Broadway's ANNIE GET YOUR GUN), this delightful film follows Shirley's early career, starting with her discovery by a studio executive at age four. Adored by the public almost overnight, Shirley quickly became Hollywood's top box office draw. But as her fame grew to legendary status, Shirley's parents, George and Gertrude Temple (Connie Britton TV's SPIN CITY), struggled to protect her from overzealous fans, Hollywood exploitation and, eventually, the end of her studio contract and the threat of financial ruin. Filled with famous song-and-dance routines, wonderfully recreated and expertly performed, CHILD STAR: THE SHIRLEY TEMPLE STORY, is pure joy for families and fans worldwide!
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Newcomer Ashley Rose Orr sings and dances up a storm in this made-for-TV movie from Disney. Based on Shirley Temple Black's autobiography, Child Star, the movie does an excellent job of depicting her life as a beacon of hope during the depression years. If Orr doesn't look exactly like the pint-sized dynamo (or act as well), she captures her effervescent essence--her sparkle--and is ably supported by Connie Britton and Colin Friels as her naive, if supportive, parents. The story falters when it skips to Temple at 15, three years after Twentieth Century Fox had severed its ties with her. As the movie ends, we see her returning to acting. It isn't made clear that this would only be a temporary return or that she would devote the rest of her life to politics. Until that point, however, this is a compelling portrait of the quintessential child star. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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