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:
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: