That Hagen Girl: The Shirley Temple–Ronald Reagan Movie With The Eww-Factor Ending
By | May 26, 2022
As child actress Shirley Temple progressed through her teenage years, she was no longer believable as a precocious dancing tot, but transitioning to grown-up movie roles is always a rocky road for a child star. That was as true for Temple as anyone, most noticeably when the 17-year-old was cast opposite a much older Ronald Reagan in 1947's That Hagen Girl.
That Hagen Girl
That Hagen Girl is the story of 17-year-old Mary Hagen's questionable parentage, believed by small-town busybodies to be Grace, the institutionalized daughter of the town's wealthiest family, and Tom Bates, a handsome young man who conveniently left town to attend law school. Mary is a high school senior when Tom Bates returns to town and provides fresh fodder for the rumor mill, especially after he takes a fatherly interest in Mary while wooing her teacher. For much of the film, the audience is led to believe that Tom is Mary's father, but in a somewhat icky surprise twist, we find out that he is, in fact, in love with Mary. In the end, the teenager and her quasi-father figure run away to elope.