7.7/10
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Bachelor Mother (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 4 August 1939 (USA)
Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling. Outraged at Polly's unmotherly conduct, David Merlin becomes determined to keep ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Merlin's Butler
Elbert Coplen Jr. ...
Johnnie - the Baby
Ferike Boros ...
Mrs. Weiss - the Landlady
...
Orphanage Investigator
...
Jerome Weiss
...
...
Orphanage Doctor
...
Orphanage Matron
...
Mary
...
Louise King
Donald Duck ...
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Storyline

Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling. Outraged at Polly's unmotherly conduct, David Merlin becomes determined to keep the single woman and "her" baby together. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just ten baby fingers and ten baby toes--Troubles? Scandal?--Gosh--Nobody Knows See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Little Mother  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal K. Dawson (Judge), Renie Riano (Amy Mellish) and Charles Halton (Doctor) are in studio records/casting call lists (with their character names) for this movie, but they did not appear or were not identifiable. See more »

Goofs

When David Niven and Ginger Rogers leave the New Years Eve party, the amount of confetti on David Niven's jacket changes dramatically from when he talks to the lady by the door and when he exits the building. See more »

Quotes

Freddie: [referring to the baby] Where did it come from?
Polly: I got it for Christmas!
[beat]
Freddie: This Christmas or last Christmas?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The cast of characters includes a wind-up toy: Donald Duck as himself. Ginger Rogers' character was in charge of a display table full of the Donald Duck toys. See more »

Connections

Version of Little Mother (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bye Baby
(1886) (uncredited)
Music by Effie I. Canning
Variations often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding Romantic Comedy
23 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For some reason that completely baffles me, TCM rarely broadcasts this wonderful, romantic comedy of errors, but frequently shows the lame musical remake, Bundle of Joy. Which cast would you rather watch - Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher and Adolphe Menjou, or Ginger Rogers, David Niven and Charles Coburn? For me, every member of the cast in this original version is far better than his/her counterpart in the remake. The original cast delivers a film with risqué overtones (with a wink to the Hays Office), while Reynolds and (especially) Fisher turn the remake into 1950's milk and cookies.

In Bachelor Mother a beautiful, young Ginger Rogers is at her peak. She portrays a wonderfully sympathetic character. She is strong and feminine; exasperated yet determined. David Niven delivers perfectly as a somewhat spoiled, sophisticated and yet befuddled scion of a wealthy department store magnate. And I always love to see Charles Coburn - in top form here as the blustery, but good-hearted department store magnate who desperately wants a grandson.

I like Debbie Reynolds fine, but Debbie doesn't deliver as nuanced a performance as Ginger Rogers. Eddie Fisher as an actor - No Way! The only time he is not completely painful to watch is in Butterfield 8 - where, incidentally, he doesn't sing. Adolphe Menjou is okay.

I get angry at TCM for showing the remake more frequently than this delightful original. I get angrier still that some Hollywood boob thought it would be a good idea to remake Bachelor Mother, filling it with some lame songs that only serve to interrupt the flow of the story.

For a terrific romantic comedy, accept no substitutes: check out Bachelor Mother. And tell TCM which film you prefer. Maybe it will start showing this film more often.


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