Film Review of Adventure in Baltimore: Shirley Temple in 1948 Suffragette Drama

by DerdriuMarriner

Characters played by John Agar, Shirley Temple, and Robert Young cause art, God, and suffragism to mingle in Charm City in the 1948 film version of "Adventure in Baltimore."

"Adventure in Baltimore" is the second film which Shirley Temple made with her first husband, actor John Agar (January 31, 1921 – April 7, 2002) .

Teenagers do not run from what is different or difficult.

Adults may forget that dreams have no shelf-life.

Will Charm City residents hear what a minister and his headstrong daughter say about art, God, and human rights in “Adventure in Baltimore”?

Shirley Temple in the 1940s
Shirley Temple in the 1940s


There are no dull moments when a minister’s daughter is also an artist and suffragette in Adventure in Baltimore by writer Lionel Houser; producer Richard H. Berger; and director Richard Wallace. Robert DeGrasse, Robert Swink, and Friedrich Hollaender handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California.

The 89-minute drama adapts Christopher Isherwood’s (August 26, 1904 – January 4, 1986) story. Its distributor was RKO Radio Pictures. Its USA-premiere and release dates were April 19 and 28, 1949.

The movie begins with Miss Ingram’s Seminary expelling art student Dinah Sheldon (Shirley Temple) for:

  • Attending political rallies;
  • Disdaining clothed models;
  • Wearing two petticoats instead of the mandatory five.

Episcopalian pastor/Dr. Andrew Sheldon (Robert Young) supports pursuing dreams since his father pressured him into abandoning ballroom dancing. Wife Lilly (Josephine Hutchinson) worries.

Absence does not make Tom Wade’s (John Agar) heart grow fonder. He dates Bernice Eckert (Carol Brannon). Dinah shares dreams of living in Paris and studying art.

Unemployed men (John Sheehan, Jack Shutta, Max Wagner) in a park argue over Dinah’s paintings. Dinah gets Tom to post bail for her and her “art critics”. Dan Fletcher (Albert Sharpe), Andrew’s vestryman, urges Dinah’s punishment.

Tom agonizes over speaking at the Forum Society’s Spring Dance. He appreciates Dinah’s offer to be his speechwriter. Dinah slightly changes a speech from her school debates. She gives Tom the speech at the last minute. Attendees mock Tom’s defense of female emancipation. The waltz contest judge’s (Harold Miller) proclaiming Andrew and Dinah winners over Bernice and Tom further upsets Tom.

Dinah comes to Tom’s workplace. She refuses to leave until Tom promises to be her model for the “Spirit of Labor” competition. She vows that he will be unrecognizable in the completed painting.

Tom agrees to pose in the Sheldon greenhouse. He dons his bathing suit. He holds a hammer. The art contest director (Douglas Wood) recognizes Dinah’s anonymous entry. An uproar results over Tom’s skimpily clothed body and recognizable face.

Bernice dumps Tom. Tom gets fired as automobile mechanic. Dan and Lilly persuade Andrew to have Dinah stay with her paternal aunt in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dinah will be out of sight, out of mind while the Church considers Andrew’s promotion.

Tom accompanies Dinah and Lilly in the Sheldon carriage. Andrew admires Dinah’s integrity. He decides to head her off at the train station and keep her in Baltimore. He instead has to go to jail to post bail on Dinah, Lily and Tom for defending suffragettes from hostile critics.

The movie ends with:

  • Andrew sermonizing on tolerance;
  • Tom speaking of his lifelong love for Dinah;
  • Dan telling of Andrew’s appointment as bishop.


“Adventure in Baltimore” original trailer, available via Turner Classic Movies (

Adventure In Baltimore | Shirley Temple | 1949

Published on YouTube on November 18, 2013 by happierhannah1 ~ URL:



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Newlyweds: Shirley Temple and John Agar

Shirley Temple, in a Gorgeous Satin Wedding Dress, with Her Husband

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 08/20/2014, DerdriuMarriner
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Mira on 02/13/2014

Yes, I agree her face is rather intriguing, being so much the face of a child. Also, her demeanor, her style of acting, which was part of the norm at the time, are fascinating to watch, too!

DerdriuMarriner on 02/12/2014

Mira, It's fun to see Shirley as a young adult and to recognize, in her youthfulness prettiness, the cute features of the child actress. She seems to have always given so much to entertainment, as well as other aspects of her life.

Mira on 02/12/2014

I didn't know about this film. It sounds interesting! Thank you for this page!

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