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Censored Shirley Temple Film Curly Top (1935) was one of Shirley Temple's first feature films for 20th Century Fox. In it Shirley played a lovable, spunky orphan. The film is best known for Shirley's famous 'Animal Crackers' song. Movie scholars also remember Curly Top as the film that featured a controversial Temple hula dance that ended up on the cutting room floor. What did seven-year-old Shirley do to ire the censors? She wore a grass hula skirt but no top! The public didn't see little Shirley's bare torso until the late 1970s when the clip was included in the syndicated TV program 'That's Hollywood!' The hula scene is not included in DVDs or videotapes.
Tags: Curly  Top  censored  dance 
Added: 8th October 2009
Views: 9936
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-10-08 
There's virtually zero chance of the deleted scene ever ending up in DVDs because of the perception of child pornography.

I thinks it's interesting that as a society we've become acutely sensitive and protective about media featuring children's nudity, but adult nudity is so common now that it doesn't raise any eyebrows.
Posted by: eric1957 on 2009-10-09 
I seing Curly Top on TV one time and the hula dance scene was shown. And if I recall Shirley had a couple of leis to cover the offending parts. it looked innocent now. Fast forward 43 years later to 1978 and the furor surrounding the Brooke Shields movie Pretty Baby.

It's a bit strange we complain about the sexualization of young girls. but if you watch that show Toddlers and Tiaras, it's like watching child pornography but it's in a different setting and it's legal.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-10-09 
That's interesting, Eric.

I had never seen the hula dance scene until it was shown on That's Hollywood! I recall the series' narrator, Tom Bosley, commenting that the censors of the day didn't allow it when it first ran in theaters in 1935 and how silly they were. (Yet today, 30 years later) we'd really be uptight about it.

I'm not familiar with Toddlers and Tiaras. Those kids' beauty pageants where they dress up six-year-old girls in makeup and evening gowns is revolting to me.
Posted by: KillerTeddybear on 2011-03-08 
My mom just bought that DVD for my niece and it has that scene in it, I remember her telling me that it used to be cut out before.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2011-03-08 
Thanks for the update, KillerTeddybear. With the way things are today, I thought it would never happen.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2017-06-01 
In another early Shirley Temple flick, Little Miss Marker (1934), there's a hospital scene where six-year-old Shirley is lying on an operating table. Shirley's uncovered upper torso is plainly visible.
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