Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Captain January

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Very sad when Star is taken away from Cap.
Diversity Issues:Miss Morgan is intolerant of Star's unusual home environment.
Movie Release Date:1936

Plot: Star (Shirley Temple), an orphan, lives with Captain January (Guy Kibbee), a retired sailor who runs a lighthouse. They adore each other, and she loves her life there, with the large community of sailors as her extended family and “Cap” to take care of her and teach her. A meddlesome and jealous woman, Agatha Morgan (Sara Haden) tries to prove that Cap is not a suitable guardian for Star, and that she should be in school, but when she is tested, her performance is well ahead of her grade level.

When the lighthouse is automated, Cap loses his job, and this gives Miss Morgan another chance to take Star away. To keep her from Miss Morgan, Cap’s friend Captain Nazro (Slim Somerville) tracks down Star’s wealthy relatives, who come to get her. They do everything they can to make her happy, finally realizing that she cannot be happy without the people who have become her real family. They bring Cap, Nazro, and her other special friends to be the crew for their new boat so they can be together.

Discussion: This is one of Shirley Temple’s best movies, and it provides an opportunity to discuss some of the most sensitive issues facing some children. Children who are home schooled will appreciate seeing the success of Shirley’s home schooling with Cap. And children who are in foster homes or have had to face custody issues may appreciate the opportunity to discuss Shirley’s situation as a way of addressing their own.

When Shirley is taken away from Cap, she says, “Why are they taking me away from you? What have I done?” This is a good chance to talk with children about how many kids mistakenly blame themselves for the problems that are created by the grown-ups around them. Star sings a song about how all that matters is “the right someone to love,” and imagines what it would be like to be Cap’s nanny. She says that he needs her to take care of him. Children need to know that it can be fun to pretend to be the caretaker, but that it is the grown-up’s responsibility to take care of the child. The movie also depicts the difficulty of finding work, especially after a job has been made obsolete.

Warning: this is a “happily ever after” movie, and children whose own situation make it difficult to watch an ending that ties everything up too neatly may have a hard time with it.

Questions for Kids:

· Why does Paul try to get Mary to “bend the rules” for Star’s test, and why won’t she do it?

· How can you tell that Cap and Nazro are friends, even though they insult each other and argue?

· How does Star notice that Cap is sad?

· Nazro does not give Cap two important pieces of information — what are they, and why doesn’t he tell Cap?

· Star and Cap both give reasons they are glad to leave the lighthouse — do you believe them? Why do they do that?

· Nazro says that children “forget quick.” Is that right?

Connections: Television fans with sharp eyes will recognize Buddy Ebsen (of “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Barnaby Jones”) as Star’s friend Paul, who dances with her to “At the Codfish Ball.”

Activities: Children might like to visit a lighthouse or a museum exhibit showing the way they used to operate before the automation portrayed in the movie. They might also like to learn something about the opera Shirley pretends to be in, “Lucia de Lammermor;” the public library may have a recording you can borrow. Cap and Nazro pay pinochle, which children might like to learn. And they might like to make up a story, as Star does so well in her test at school.



Previous Posts

The Memory Book -- This Saturday on the Hallmark Channel
A budding, young photographer stumbles upon an old photo album chronicling the ideal romance of a happy couple. Intrigued by their love and unable to find her own “true love,” she sets out to find the couple and figure out if true love really exists.  The film stars Meghan Ory (“Once Upon a T

posted 8:00:57am Jul. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Michael Rossato-Bennett of "Alive Inside"
Michael Rossato-Bennett agreed to spend one day filming Dan Cohen's remarkable music therapy work with people struggling with dementia. He ended up spending three years there and the result is "Alive Inside," an extraordinary documentary about the power of music to reach the human spirit, even when

posted 3:58:01pm Jul. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Movies' Greatest Mirror Scenes
Anne Billson has a great piece in The Telegraph on mirror scenes in movies, from the Marx brothers clowning in "Duck Soup" and the shootout in "The Lady from Shanghai" to Elizabeth Taylor scrawling on the mirror with lipstick in "Butterfield 8." [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKTT-sy0aLg

posted 8:00:51am Jul. 23, 2014 | read full post »

How Do Movies Show Time Passing?
Someone once said that movies are "pieces of time." A few take place in "real time." Alfred Hitchcock's experiment, "Rope," unfolds in just the time it takes us to watch it, all in what appears to be one seamless shot. But others take place over days, weeks, years, even generations. Slavko Vorkap

posted 8:00:40am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Boring TV Makes You Fat
A new study finds that boring television leads to mindless snacking and that leads to putting on pounds. So, watch programs that excite and engage you. Or, if the show is boring, turn off the television.

posted 8:00:05am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.