Kiss and Tell (1945 film)

Last updated
Kiss and Tell
Kiss and Tell (1945) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Wallace
Written by F. Hugh Herbert from his own play
Produced by Sol C. Siegel
Starring Shirley Temple
Jerome Courtland
Walter Abel
Katharine Alexander
Cinematography Charles Lawton Jr.
Edited byCharles Nelson
Music by Werner R. Heymann
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • October 4, 1945 (1945-10-04)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.2 million [1]

Kiss and Tell is a 1945 American comedy film starring then 17-year-old Shirley Temple as Corliss Archer. In the film, two teenage girls cause their respective parents much concern when they start to become interested in boys. The parents' bickering about which girl is the worse influence causes more problems than it solves. [2]


The movie was based on the Broadway play Kiss and Tell , which was based on the Corliss Archer short stories. The stories, play and movie were all written by F. Hugh Herbert. A sequel film, A Kiss for Corliss , was released in 1949 and also starred Temple, but was not written by Herbert.


When their booth at a USO bazaar fails to attract customers, teenager Corliss Archer suggests to her best friend, Mildred Pringle, that they sell kisses. The idea becomes a success among the soldiers visiting the bazaar, and business is booming, until the girls' mothers find out about it. Despite the fact that it was Corliss' idea, Mrs. Archer blames Mildred for the girls' behavior. Mrs. Archer's assumptions greatly upset Mr. Pringle when he hears about them at the Pringle dinner table. He decides the family, including Mildred and their son Raymond, will refrain from socializing with the Archers in the future.

That same night, Corliss pretends to be older than she is and starts flirting shamelessly with young Private Jimmy Earhart, who has been invited into the Archer home for dinner. Corliss is actually dating the boy next door, Dexter Franklin.

Late that night, Lenny Archer returns home on a short leave from his Air Force service. He goes directly to his girlfriend Mildred and proposes to her, suggesting they elope and marry right away, before he is shipped off overseas. By the next morning the couple has married across the state line. They go home to inform their respective families about their activities and plans, but find that the Pringles and the Archers are no longer on speaking terms since the feud has intensified.

Lenny only tells his sister Corliss of what they have done, and makes her swear not to tell anyone. The feud gets worse when Mr. Pringle and Mr. Archer start a fist fight and punch each other in the face. The injuries from the fight result in lawsuits from both families against each other. The feud drags on for months.

Eventually Mildred finds out that she is pregnant, and she goes to see an obstetrician. Corliss goes with her, and is spotted by Mrs. Wilcox, the town gossip. Corliss is seen talking to Jimmy on the street, directly after leaving the doctor's office, and Mrs. Wilcox instantly and eagerly passes the information on to Mrs. Pringle.

Mrs. Pringle sees her chance to get back at the Archers, so she confronts them with the claim that Corliss is pregnant and that Jimmy is the father. Corliss doesn't want Mildred and her brother to get into trouble, so she admits to being pregnant. When Mrs. Archer tries to call Jimmy's superior officer to scold him, Corliss says Dexter is the father. Then she intercepts her mother by telling Dexter what she has said, asking him to help her out by lying.

Corliss tries to soften the blow for her parents by lying again, telling them that she and Dexter are already married. Mr. Archer doesn't believe her, so she tells him they were married across the state line. When Mr. Archer calls the justice who performed the ceremony, the man confirms that an Archer was married there months ago. Soon the Franklins are informed of their son's endeavours, and both families gather at Archer's house. Uncle George Archer, who is a Navy chaplain, insists on performing another, "proper" wedding ceremony for the young couple.

The same night, Mildred hears news that Lenny has performed heroically in the war, and is coming home soon, whereupon she summons the courage to tell her family about her marriage and pregnancy. She also tells her mother about Corliss going with her to the doctor, which makes Mrs. Archer realize Mrs. Wilcox was wrong.

The Pringles run over to tell the news to the Archers, and enters the house to the music of the wedding march. Mr. Archer chases Mr. Pringle out the door and down the street, but soon finds out that they are both to be grandparents. The two families finally reconcile.



Bosley Crowther of The New York Times called the film an "effervescent" adaptation of the stage play and declared Temple "superb in the leading role." [3] Film Daily wrote: "A fast-paced comedy amusing from first to last has been fashioned from F. Hugh Herbert's stage success ... [Shirley Temple] delivers her best work since her farewell to childhood." [4] John McCarten of The New Yorker reported that the film hadn't changed much from the "protracted but reasonably diverting" stage version, and singled out Jerome Courtland as "one of the most capable adolescent actors to come along in years." [5]

Related Research Articles

<i>The Bells of St. Marys</i> 1945 film by Leo McCarey

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) is an American musical comedy-drama film, produced and directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Written by Dudley Nichols and based on a story by McCarey, the film is about a priest and a nun who, despite their good-natured rivalry, try to save their school from being shut down. The character Father O'Malley had been previously portrayed by Crosby in the 1944 film Going My Way, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film was produced by Leo McCarey's production company, Rainbow Productions.

<i>The Three Faces of Eve</i> 1957 film by Nunnally Johnson

The Three Faces of Eve is a 1957 American film noir mystery drama film presented in CinemaScope, based on the book of the same name about the life of Chris Costner Sizemore, which was written by psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, who also helped write the screenplay. Sizemore, also known as Eve White, was a woman they suggested might have dissociative identity disorder. Sizemore's identity was concealed in interviews about this film and was not revealed to the public until 1977. The film was directed by Nunnally Johnson.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Janet Waldo</span> American actress (1919–2016)

Janet Waldo was an American radio and voice actress. In animation, she voiced Judy Jetson in various Hanna-Barbera media, Nancy in Shazzan, Penelope Pitstop, Princess from Battle of the Planets, and Josie in Josie and the Pussycats. On radio, she was the title character in Meet Corliss Archer.

<i>Anne of Windy Poplars</i> Book by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Windy Poplars—published as Anne of Windy Willows in the UK, Australia, and Japan—is an epistolary novel by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery. First published in 1936 by McClelland and Stewart, it details Anne Shirley's experiences while serving as principal of a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island over three years. A large portion of the novel is presented through letters Anne writes to her fiancé, Gilbert Blythe. Chronologically, the book is fourth in the series, but it was the seventh book written.

<i>A Kiss Before Dying</i> (novel) 1953 novel written by Ira Levin

A Kiss Before Dying is a 1953 novel written by Ira Levin. It won the 1954 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jerome Courtland</span> American actor, director and producer (1926–2012)

Jerome Courtland was an American actor, director and producer. He acted in films in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and in television in the 1950s and 1960s. Courtland also appeared on Broadway in the musical Flahooley in the early 1950s. He directed and produced television series in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He served in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

<i>Mildred Pierce</i> (film) 1945 American melodrama/film noir film by Michael Curtiz

Mildred Pierce is a 1945 American melodrama/film noir directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, and Zachary Scott, also featuring Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, and Bruce Bennett. Based on the 1941 novel by James M. Cain, this was Crawford's first starring role for Warner Bros., after leaving Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 1996, Mildred Pierce was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry.

<i>Meet Corliss Archer</i>

Meet Corliss Archer is an American radio program from radio's Golden Age that ran from January 7, 1943, to September 30, 1956. Although it was CBS's answer to NBC's A Date with Judy, it was also broadcast by NBC in 1948 as a summer replacement for The Bob Hope Show. From October 3, 1952, to June 26, 1953, it aired on ABC, finally returning to CBS. Despite the program's long run, fewer than 24 episodes are known to exist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kathryn Card</span> American actress (1892–1964)

Kathryn Card was an American radio, television, and film actress who may be best remembered for her role as Mrs. McGillicuddy, Lucy's mother on I Love Lucy.

<i>I Passed for White</i> 1960 American film

I Passed for White is a 1960 American drama film directed and adapted for the screen by Fred M. Wilcox from a novel of the same name by Reba Lee "as told to" Mary Hastings Bradley. The film stars Sonya Wilde and James Franciscus and features Jimmy Lydon, Patricia Michon, and Isabel Cooley. It was released by Allied Artists on March 18, 1960.

<i>Miss Annie Rooney</i> 1942 film by Edwin L. Marin

Miss Annie Rooney is a 1942 American drama film directed by Edwin L. Marin. The screenplay by George Bruce has some similarities to the silent film, Little Annie Rooney starring Mary Pickford, but otherwise, the films are unrelated. Miss Annie Rooney is about a teenager from a humble background who falls in love with a rich high school boy. She is snubbed by his social set, but, when her father invents a better rubber synthetic substitute, her prestige rises. Notable as the film in which Shirley Temple received her first on-screen kiss, and Moore said it was his first kiss ever. The film was panned.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">F. Hugh Herbert</span> Filmmaker (1897–1958)

Frederick Hugh Herbert was a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, short story writer, and infrequent film director.

<i>Trents Last Case</i> (1952 film) 1952 British film by Herbert Wilcox

Trent's Last Case is a 1952 British detective film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Michael Wilding, Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles and John McCallum. It was produced by Wilcox as part of a distribution agreement with Republic Pictures. It was based on the 1913 novel Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley, and had been filmed previously in the UK with Clive Brook in 1920, and in a 1929 US version.

<i>Young People</i> (1940 film) 1940 film by Allan Dwan

Young People is a 1940 American musical drama film directed by Allan Dwan and starring Shirley Temple and Jack Oakie. This would be Shirley's final film as a child actress.

<i>A Kiss for Corliss</i> 1949 film by Richard Wallace

A Kiss for Corliss is a 1949 American comedy film directed by Richard Wallace, written by Howard Dimsdale, and starring David Niven and Shirley Temple. The film, which was the last for both Wallace and Temple, was released on November 25, 1949, by United Artists. It is a sequel to the 1945 film Kiss and Tell, also directed by Wallace and starring Temple.

<i>Kiss and Tell</i> (play)

Kiss and Tell is a 1943 Broadway play by F. Hugh Herbert.

<i>Anne of Windy Poplars</i> (film) 1940 film by Jack Hively

Anne of Windy Poplars is a 1940 film based on the novel of the same name by Lucy Maud Montgomery. A sequel to the 1934 film Anne of Green Gables, it features Anne Shirley returning from the first film in the title role.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Ellis (actor, born 1933)</span> American child actor (1933–1973)

Robert Ellis was an American film and television actor in the 1940s and 1950s, who was the last actor to play Henry Aldrich on the radio series The Aldrich Family.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Virginia Welles</span> American actress (1925–2002)

Virginia Welles was an American film actress. She is known for appearing in Shirley Temple films such as Kiss and Tell (1945) and A Kiss for Corliss (1949).

Fictional teenage girl Corliss Archer is the lead character in a series of American short stories written by F. Hugh Herbert starting in 1943. She also appears in these derivative works:


  1. "Indies $70,000,000 Pix Output". Variety: 18. 3 November 1944. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  2. "Kiss and Tell (1945) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. Crowther, Bosley (October 26, 1945). "Movie Review - Kiss and Tell". The New York Times . Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  4. "Reviews". Film Daily . New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc.: 10 October 3, 1945.
  5. McCarten, John (November 3, 1945). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker . New York: F-R Publishing Corp.: 70–71.