Having tried to wrest Shirley Temple away from 20th Century-Fox for nearly seven years, MGM was finally able to put the enormously popular child star under contract in 1941. Alas, by this time the bloom was off the rose for 13-year-old Temple, and her inaugural MGM production Kathleen was met with sublime indifference. For the record, the film casts Temple as Kathleen Davis, the irritatingly forthright daughter of neglectful widower John Davis (Herbert Marshall). Fed up with being left in charge of her superstrict nursemaid (Nella Walker), Kathleen welcomes the arrival of her new governess, warm-hearted Dr. A. Martha Kent (Laraine Day). In her usual take-charge manner, our heroine begins trying to arrange a marriage between her father and Martha, choosing to ignore the fact that Mr. Davis already has a fiancee in the form of actress Lorraine Bennett (Gail Patrick). So poorly did Kathleen fare at the box office that MGM dropped Shirley Temple's contract after this one film.