Graham Greene’s infamous review of Wee Willie Winkie (1937), starring Shirley Temple

The Charnel-House

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Shirley Temple passed away a little over a week ago. Now that some time has gone by, though, I thought I would take this opportunity to repost a hilarious 1937 review written by Graham Greene of her movie Wee Willie Winkie. Greene, one of the great British authors of the twentieth century — and there were many — wrote with such searing cynicism and shocking innuendo that Temple’s guardians ended up suing him. He was practically forced to leave the country.

This reposting should not be seen as some sort of final dig at Temple shortly after she died. Indeed, it’s more of commentary on the whole Hollywood industry of the child star, which has claimed so many over the years. And in fact, Shirley Temple is one of the very few who did successfully transition into adult life without completely losing it (an all-too-familiar story for child actors who the…

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