Academy celebrates Shirley Temple’s 80th birthday

Jul 29, 2008 by Ian Evans

The Good Ship Lollipop will be sailing to Beverly Hills as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screens restored prints of both 1937’s Wee Willie Winkie and 1938’s Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The screenings are in celebration of Shirley Temple’s 80th birthday year and will take place on Friday, August 22, at 7 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

At age six, with a dozen films already under her belt, Shirley Temple received a Special Award, a miniature Oscar® statuette, “in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934.” As an adult, Shirley Temple Black has continued her contributions to society as a diplomat with the State Department, where she has served as ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and as a delegate to the United Nations.

John Ford directed Temple in Wee Willie Winkie, an adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling tale set in Colonial India. While visiting her grandfather, a British army colonel, Temple’s character, nicknamed Wee Willie Winkie, finds herself in the midst of hostilities and must use her abundant charm and quick wits to help save the day. The film received an Academy Award® nomination for Art Direction (William Darling, David Hall). The restoration work was done by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, using nitrate elements in its collection, in collaboration with 20th Century Fox.

In Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Temple becomes a radio singing star, unbeknownst to her disapproving aunt. The film was restored from a nitrate fine-grain master in the Fox nitrate collection at the Academy Film Archive.

Wee Willie Winkie will begin at 7 p.m. and has a running time of 100 minutes. There will be a 10-minute intermission before the start of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (80 minutes).

Tickets to the double feature are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. Doors open at 6 p.m. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. All seating is unreserved.