Suffering at the Temple

Shirley Temple in Adventure in Baltimore (1949) (aka: Bachelor Bait)

Having been expelled from a Ladies Finishing School due to her progressive, suffragette ideas and yearning to be an artist, Dinah Sheldon (Shirley Temple) is met by her preacher father, Dr. Sheldon (Robert Young), who is very tolerant of his daughter's ways. Back home Dinah ends up not only preaching her ideas but finds herself with a suitor in Tom Wade (John Agar) who she persuades to pose for her to paint. But when her painting of him in his swimsuit is exhibited it causes even more scandal, something Dr. Sheldon not necessarily wants as he is being considered for the position of Bishop.

I don't know why Shirley Temple retired from acting but I can full understand if it was due to weak offerings especially after watching "Adventure in Baltimore". Here is a movie which has an amusing idea of a forwards thinking young woman with ideals which go against the current trend ending up causing various scandals because of the way she is. But the end result is a movie which instead of really ploughing the humour and drama relies heavily on Shirley Temple to play feisty, amusing and likeable, which to her credit she does and does so in a professional manner.

But as I said the actual storyline to "Adventure in Baltimore" never really comes together and the humour of Dinah causing various problems where ever she goes whilst those close to her come around to some of her thinkings sort of meanders along suffering from not really having strong writing. It is a shame because alongside Shirley Temple is Robert Young who delivers an entertaining performance as her patient and understanding father whilst her husband at the time, John Agar, has a few amusing scenes of his own.

What this all boils down to is that "Adventure in Baltimore" whilst not really a bad movie is one of those which you know could have been so much better. And as such in the end "Adventure in Baltimore" ends up a movie which relies on Shirley Temple's popularity to entertain audiences.

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