Film Review of Kiss and Tell: Shirley Temple in 1945 War Time Comedy About a Sixteen Year Old

by DerdriuMarriner

Shirley Temple as Corliss Archer worries her parents with teen-aged antics but also helps the USAF and USO in the 1945 film version of "Kiss and Tell."

A precocious, pretty teenager dates her next-door neighbor.

She finds that his “fragrant infidelity” in having root beer with a “frizzed blonde” rival truly stinks.

Will flirting with uniformed men and keeping secrets go too far in “Kiss and Tell”?

A momentous event occurred in Shirley's personal life one month prior to the October 18, 1945 release of "Kiss and Tell":

• On Wednesday, September 19, 1945, Shirley had married fellow actor John Agar Jr.(January 31, 1921 – April 7, 2002), an older brother of Shirley's friend, Joyce (January 10, 1927 - May 29, 2001), in an elaborate, Episcopalian ceremony, orchestrated by film producer David O. Selznick (May 10, 1902 – June 22, 1965), at Wilshire Methodist Church in Los Angeles.

Four years later, on August 6, 1949, Shirley served as matron of honor at Joyce's wedding to brokerage trader John Rockwell Wheeler (September 27, 1925 - January 14, 2004). Standing in his predeceased father's stead, John Agar gave away his sister at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, which was the Romanesque church, in Westwood, where Shirley had wanted to hold her own wedding.

St. Alban's Episcopal Church:

the Romanesque church in Shirley's Westwood neighborhood which she preferred for her 1945 wedding
" St. Alban's Episcopal Church on Hilgard Avenue, Westwood, Los Angeles"
" St. Alban's Episcopal Church on Hilgard Avenue, Westwood, Los Angeles"


Secrets are meant to be told in Kiss and Tell by producer Sol C. Siegel and director Richard Wallace. Charles Lawton Jr., Charles Nelson, and Werner R. Heymann handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California.

The 90-minute comedy adapts writer/playwright Frederick Hugh Herbert’s (1897-1958):

  • 1943-presented play;
  • Corliss Archer stories.

Its distributor was Columbia Pictures. Its premiere and USA-release dates were October 4 and 18, 1945.

The movie begins with 15-year-old Corliss Archer (Shirley Temple) and 17-year-old Mildred Pringle (Virginia Welles) operating a USO (United Services Organization, 1941-) bazaar booth. Corliss convinces boyfriend Dexter Franklin (Jerome Courtland) to spend $5.00 on $1.00 guest towels. The booth flops until Corliss sells soldiers kisses.

Corliss flirts with dinner guest Private Jimmy Earhart (Scott McKay). She presents herself as 3-4 months younger than 20+-year-old Air Force Lieutenant brother Lenny (Scott Elliott). She purports to have aged snapshots as an all-elbows-and-legs 14-year-old. Parents Harry (Walter Abel) and Janet (Katharine Alexander) take Corliss to the movies.

Lenny arrives on 70-hour leave before shipping to the Pacific. He and Mildred cross state lines. Mildred fudges her age. The two hide their marriage when they find:

  • Harry and Janet forbidding Corliss’ seeing Pringles;

  • Bob (Tom Tully) and Dorothy (Mary Philips) forbidding Mildred’s and Raymond’s (Darryl Hickman) seeing Archers;

  • Bob hitting Harry’s nose;

  • Harry loosening four of Bob’s teeth;

  • Bob and Harry suing one another.

Lenny reveals marriage realities and annulment fears to Corliss. Corliss swears not to tell -- in blood, over crossed hearts, under torture.

Corliss accompanies Mildred to Dr. Fabling’s Professional Building office. Corliss claims to town gossip Mrs. Nora Wilcox (Isabel Withers) to have:

  • Orthodontic appointments;

  • No V-mail from Lenny.

Nora observes Corliss having shrimp cocktails with Jimmy at Jefferson and Fifth as revenge for Dexter having root beer with Betty Campbell. She tells Dorothy that Corliss and Jimmy are parents-to-be. Dorothy tells Janet. Harry threatens to contact Jimmy’s commanding officer (Gary Bruce).

Corliss admits to marriage and obstetrician visits the day and week before. Dexter ambles over to reconcile for slapping Corliss’ arm. Corliss blames Dexter for her “pregnancy.” Janet hopes for a girl. Harry telephones Wyndham Ferry’s justice of the peace, who confirms an Archer marriage.

Navy chaplain/Uncle George (Robert Benchley) Archer comes by. Harry, Janet, and Mary (Edna Holland) and Bill (Porter Hall) Franklin consent to George’s performing the at-home wedding ceremony. Corliss dons a new dress. Louise (Kathryn Cord) plays the wedding march.

The movie ends with:

  • Four Pringles bringing Lenny’s telegram and sharing Mildred’s revelations;

  • Parents looking forward to becoming grandparents.


Corliss (Shirley Temple) and Mildred (Virginia Welles) raise lots of money for the war effort when they switch from selling guest towels to selling kisses; Corliss to Mildred: “I’m perfectly willing to sacrifice myself for a good cause."

Kiss and Tell 1945 - Shirley Temple - Jerome Courtland - Walter Abel: Published on YouTube on October 13, 2012 by ClassicMovieShop ~ URL:

Kiss and Tell | Shirley Temple | 1945 ~ full length movie (except last 30+ seconds - see below)

Published on YouTube on Jul 4, 2013 by Hannah Grace ~ URL:

Kiss and Tell | Shirley Temple | 1945 | Ending ~ Last 30 seconds of film

Published on YouTube on January 22, 2014 by happierhannah1 ~ URL:
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Shirley Temple Cuddling with Her Husband at the Wedding Reception: photo by Frank Scherschel

September 19, 1945
Shirley Temple Cuddling with Her Husband at the Wedding Reception

Actress Shirley Temple, Gathering Her Unwanted Clothes Together to Donate to a Clothing Drive:

photo, by Martha Holmes (February 7, 1923 - September 19, 2006), first appeared in Life magazine on May 14, 1945
Actress Shirley Temple, Gathering Her Unwanted Clothes Together to Donate to a Clothing Drive

Shirley Temple Black's autobiography

Child Star: An Autobiography

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
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/01/2014

Sheri_Oz, Shirley's later films are enjoyable to watch. It would have been interesting to see how her screen persona might have unfolded over the decades. Nevertheless, retiring from films at the young age of 21, she left a nice repertoire as her legacy.

Sheri_Oz on 03/01/2014

I didn't realize she made movies as a teen also. Now I have to catch up on my classic films.

DerdriuMarriner on 02/26/2014

Mira, Shirley Temple made entertaining films, as a child, as a teen-ager, and as a young adult. It's fun to see her grow up on the screen. I'm happy that you're appreciating my tributes to Shirley.

Mira on 02/26/2014

This sounds like a fun movie. I'd love to see teenagers romping about in 1945 :-) Pretty soon, I'll have time to watch all these Shirley Temple films. Thanks for bringing them to our attention. It's really a grand idea :)

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