Figure 1.--Scotty Beckett and Johnny Russel appeared in this Shirley Temple vehichem "The Blue Bird". This was a dreany scene it a Heven-like setting. The children wore blue and pink tunics.
This was a major 1940 film employing the new color format. It is one of Shirley's few color films as a child. Despite MGM's major effort, it is virtually forgotten today. Few will list it as one of her major films. It is a dreamy film set in Germany and then a fantasy setting rather like heaven. The costuming is forst Germam. Shirley's briother wears lederhosen. In the dream sequence, the children wear blue and pink tunics.
Some film anthologies classify this film as a sc-fi movie. I see why they did it, but I wouldn't put it in that genre.
"The Blue Bird" was first made as a silet film by Maurice Tourneur in 1918. It is considered a classic. The 1940 version was of course a "talkie" and one of the early color films. It was directed by Walter Lang. It in many ways it is like "The Wizard of Oz" (1939). Both had black and white prologues. The director of "Wizard of Oz" had wanted Shirly Temple, but MGM would release her. "The Blue Bird" was Fox's
answer to the spectacularly popular MGM "Wizard of Oz" which made Judy Garland a star. "The Blue Bird" with Shirley was not very popular and was the end of her series of hits. Some film historians speak highly of "The Blue Bird", but the film going public did not. It certainly was one of the greatest fantasy films of all time. It won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography, which was well deserved. It did not win any other awatds, although many think an Oscar for Art Direction was in order.
Figure 2.--Johnny Russel wears lederhosen for his part as Tyltyl in the "Blue Bird".
Mytyl (played by Shirley) and her little brother Tyltyl are looking for the Blue Bird of Hapiness. After their adventures, they find hapiness at home. Mytyl first appears in black and white as a spoiled, self-centered little girl, quite different than most of her roles. She refuses to give a crippled girl the blue bird she has just found and liked so much. Mytyl then goes home and insults her parents about dinner. I certainly don't remember that in any other Shirley Temple film. She complaims that they don't have all the rich foods that other kids have.
Mytyl then falls asleep and begind to dream. The Technicolor then begins. Mytyl and Tytyl begin a search for the allegorical blue bird which symbolizes happiness. During their adventure, Mytyl and Tytyl confront a variety of obstacles. The special affects are, for 1940, quite spectacular. One especially imopressive scene is a storm sequence in which the forest on fire with lightning. The scene sequence of the children's quest in the magical land leading to the symbolic blue bird of happiness is also impressive. Finally Mytyl wakes up and finds the blue bird of happiness in her kitchen and gives it to the crippled little girl that had admired it earlier. Shirley is back to her old self and Mytyl has learned her lesson as to what true happiness is really all about.
Shirley Temple played Mytyl. I think Johny Russell plays Tyltyl. Scotty Beckett played one of the boys in heaven wearing blue tunics.
It is a dreamy film set in Germany and then a fantasy setting rather like heaven. The costuming is forst Germam. Shirley's briother wears lederhosen. In the dream sequence, the children wear blue and pink tunics--rather like modern dance tunics.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Bf-Ml alphabetical page]
[Return to the Main alphabetical movie page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Bibliographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Contributions] [Countries] [FAQs]
[Boys' Clothing Home]