Stowaway (1936)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Childhood Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 25, 1936 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

An entertaining vehicle for Shirley Temple, Stowaway doesn't rank as one of her best pictures, but it has enough modest charms that it makes for worthwhile viewing for her fans. Not all Temple vehicles are one-girl affairs; this is one of those in which Temple primarily serves as a manipulating force, rather than as the sole star. Temple is quite good at this type of role, the matchmaker who pulls a lot of strings, both hidden and obvious, to make the story come out the way it needs to. That doesn't mean that the little trouper doesn't have plenty of opportunities to shine, of course; here she demonstrates a pretty convincing mastery of Chinese, spouts pearls of Chinese wisdom at the drop of a hat, and of course gets to sing, dance and offer up an array of impersonations in a pretty darn engaging manner. But she also allows her co-stars a decent amount of screen time, and since those stars include Robert Young, Alice Faye, Eugene Pallette, Arthur Treacher and Helen Westley, that's a very good thing. The Mack Gordon-Harry Revel score is a decided plus; if the songs occasionally get a bit cutesy, they're still charmers.