We were so, so sad to hear that Shirley Temple Black passed away Monday night. She was one of our (and probably your) most very favorite child stars ever—those dimples! Those curls! Not to mention the respected diplomatic path she took as an adult. If your children are asking Shirley who? allow us to offer you three of Shirley Temple’s best films that they definitely have to watch. Get that Netflix log-in or that Amazon account ready. Quickly, before all the prices triple.
This is the movie Shirley Temple first became famous for, and most of us probably call it The Good Ship Lollipop because this is where that song comes from. Shirley is an orphaned girl (a theme throughout many of her movies) whose charming personality finds her in the midst of a custody battle. It, of course, has a happy ending and your kids will be singing about the Good Ship Lollipop all evening.
(Watch Bright Eyes for free at OldMovieTime.com, or buy a copy at Amazon from $3)
We included Heidi in our roundup of Family Movie Night Ideas from classic films that still hold up today, and for good reason. If you never caught this classic, Heidi is a little orphaned girl (again) who moves to the mountains to live with her crazy grandfather. Turns out, he’s not so crazy, just misunderstood, and their relationship develops beautifully. There are some sad parts and some adorable parts and in the end, Heidi’s sweet positivity saves the day.
(You can rent Heidi on Amazon for $2.99 or $3.99 for HD, or watch it streaming on Netflix.)
A Little Princess
This is one of our favorite read-out-loud children’s books (by Frances Hodgeson Burnett, who wrote The Secret Garden too) and Shirley Temple made it one of the favorite films of our own childhoods. In this movie, Shirley Temple plays Sara, a young girl whose father goes off to war and sends her to a fancy boarding school where she’s doted upon–until the headmistress learns she’s been orphaned (yes, again) and left destitute at which point things take a terrible turn quickly. But she never stops believing her father will come back for her, and as always, that smile radiates in the midst of adversity and helps bring about a wonderfully happy ending. Tissues required.
(Rent A Little Princess on Amazon for $2.)
BONUS: For a good dose of hilarity, check out the short film War Babies, Shirley Temple’s first movie. She was three years old when she starred in this movie, and it’s full of babies in an old time saloon in their undies. Crazy stuff, this.
(Watch War Babies for free on Amazon)
Watch one of these fantastic movies tonight, and use Lisa Lavery’s recipe to fix your kids a Shirley Temple (via Chow) to sip on too!