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There are great scenes, notably at the races. This only further proves that Cary may very well be the funniest straight actor to appear on the screen. The supporting cast itself is a great one, and the leads are fantastic.
This film has been well directed, but not enough to meddle in the great performances. Screenplay manages to simply enough combine humour and creativity. A light hearted romp and good entertainment.
It's a little lesser known as many of these actors other films always overshadow it, but it is still a good example of 1940s film making, with top talent at its best.
The stars, of course, are the main reasons for watching "The Boxer and the Bobby Soxer". The film's premise is about the infatuation of a impressionable teen ager with a much older man. The object of that affection is a playboy who appears to be unsuitable for the girl. The contrast between the older man and the young girl creates a lot of funny situations.
To make matters worse, the sister of the young girl is a judge, who sees right through the roguish Richard Nugent and wants him to leave the girl alone, but figures that surely her sister will soon get bored with the man.
Myrna Loy does wonders with her role as Margaret Turner. Cary Grant brings his natural elegance to the role of Richard Nugent; just watch him in the picnic competition. Shirley Temple is a sweet Susan, the girl infatuated with Richard. In minor roles, Rudy Vallee and Ray Collins are perfectly cast.
In a couple of scenes in the film we see Richard Nugent in shining armor, as both sisters take turns in imagining him her hero. Only the right one will be rewarded.
It really does seem almost impossible for a film to get any cuter or more feel-good than THE BACHELOR & THE BOBBY-SOXER. First of all, much of the comedy is fantastic--from Susan's starry-eyed image of 'Dickie' as a (literal!) knight in shining armour, through to her attempt to pass herself off as both Dick's mother and Margaret's sister when trying to help Dick escape from jail. The dining scene at the club is brilliant fun, especially as more and more people arrive at the table to disrupt Dick and Margaret's privacy. Watch Cary Grant's reactions in this scene--truly a fantastic comedic performance that has, thankfully, been captured on film to the great benefit of future generations. ;) You just can't help laughing throughout the film--at Susan's misguided passion for Dick, Dick's helpless bewilderment when he gets landed in jail for nothing he can remember, the attempts at matchmaking Uncle Matt subtly tries to pull off etc.
Secondly, the cast itself is excellent. There is no better (or more under-rated) comic actor than Cary Grant, and he lends his considerable talent and boundless charm to the character without reservation. It's always the little throwaway touches that count with Grant's performances, tiny things that make him appear so natural on the screen, and his Dick Nugent is remarkably true to life. I especially love it when Dick trades his car in and turns up his trouser cuffs to act 'young' around the Turners. ("You remind me of a man...") Myrna Loy is delightful as well, though woefully under-used. It's not hard to believe her as a fully professional, modern woman (surely female judges must have been very rare at the time?); nor is it difficult to believe that the judge might have a sweeter, human side. (Though who wouldn't be convincing when asked to fall in love with Cary Grant?) It's a shame that there aren't more love scenes between Grant and Loy, as they doubtlessly have great chemistry together. As for Shirley Temple--there is just no denying how cute she is, and how well she plays the role of the flighty, passionate Susan. It's not an easy role to play, given how the character as written is really rather annoying. Temple makes Susan sweeter and more tolerable, and she definitely holds her own in the company of Grant and Loy.
The only problem with the film, given its great cast and very funny script, is that the 'comedic' element triumphs at the expense of the 'romantic'. There aren't half as many scenes between Grant and Loy as I would personally have liked, and although Loy herself is very convincing in her portrayal of Margaret--you really *do* believe that her character has fallen for Grant's--it certainly isn't with the help of the script. The film really belongs to Grant and Temple, both of whom get to show off their comic talents to great effect. While Loy makes an excellent straight (wo)man, it really is a shame that we didn't get to see more of her, or more of her character interacting with Grant's.
All in all, great fun, great laughs, great cast. The great romance... well, that would probably have to come from another film. That said, THE BACHELOR & THE BOBBY-SOXER is still definitely a film that's well worth the watch...
The thing that really got me, the first time I saw this film, was how gorgeous Shirley Temple was as a young woman. I was only used to seeing her as a little girl in her early movies, but wow, she grew up quite well. Very easy on the eyes. I felt the same way about her when I saw Fort Apache. Fact is, if I was 17 in 1947, they'd have to use fire hoses to keep me away from her. Oh, that little button nose....
The cast comes together well and keeps your interest all the way through. One of those early comedies that doesn't require harsh language, nudity, or gross-out jokes to get its laughs.
This is a movie that I can always enjoy every time it shows up on TV. Great performances by all.
"Mellow greetings, Yookie-Dookie!" (You'll understand why that is funny if you see the movie.)
The story makes it clear early on that it should not be taken too seriously, yet it is told well enough that it is easy to set aside any plausibility issues. The early misadventures set up the amusing arrangement that the judge (Loy) agrees to, in the hopes of keeping the others out of trouble, and this in turn sets up a new series of outlandish events. Harry Davenport and Ray Collins head up a pretty good supporting cast, and the situation builds pretty well, leading up to a complicated, entertaining set of tangle-ups.
While there is nothing remarkable about it, "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" is the kind of pleasant silliness that takes the right touch to make it work. It makes for an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half.
However, soon after, Grant delivers a lecture on the pleasures of a career in art to the local high school. Unfortunately he attracts the attention of high school senior Shirley Temple. Temple manages to go to Grant's apartment and get inside - she feels they are made for each other. But she falls asleep, and Grant returns home without noticing her. He gets into his pajamas and dressing gown and makes himself a drink, planning to read a book before bed. He puts on the music, waking up Temple. She says hello to him while he looks totally confused - and then there is pounding at his door. It is the police, the D.A. (Rudy Vallee) and Temple's sister...yes Myrna Loy.
Grant is arrested on a very sticky charge - we are never informed precisely, but it appears to be attempted statutory rape. However, Loy is convinced by her uncle Ray Collins, to be easy on Grant - if she isn't, Temple will always think of Grant as a martyr. Grant has to help Temple get him out of her system. So Grant is given a suspended sentence if he cooperates (which he really hates doing).
The story is very odd in it's reversals of character. Loy never played such a high ranking professional before, nor had Grant played an artist of any type. Temple, the darling little girl of the 1930s, was now grown up, and here comes closest to playing a really bratty character: so spoiled that she does not care about how her actions affect Loy, Grant, Vallee, and her boyfriend from high school (Johnny Sands).
Possibly the most curious change in character is Vallee. He became something of a fixture in films in the 1940s, usually with Preston Sturgis like in THE SIN OF HAROLD DIDDLEBOCK or THE PALM BEACH STORY, or in films like I REMEMBER MAMA. His character were somewhat pompous but basically harmless. Here he is (due to growing jealousy, but initially due to disgust) in his most unlikeable character. After Grant is released, he meets Vallee in front of Loy and Temple's house. Vallee, sneeringly says, "Why don't you come to my home for my niece's birthday party? You'd like her...she's six!!" Grant, understandably, looks like he wants to flatten the crooner. Later on he steals a chair in a restaurant from a patron who was using it (causing the patron to fall down). The patron confronts him, but Vallee won't even consider apologizing. So the patron evens the score a second later.
In this comedy you discover all about the man with a power (what power - Hoodoo! You'll catch on). You will see veteran nice old grandpa Harry Davenport show a less likable side to his nature, taking out his anger on defenseless chessmen. You will enjoy this quirky comedy, and be glad you saw it.
To understand the interpersonal dynamics of the story, let's start with two of the great supporting actors in this film Rudy Vallee and Ray Collins. Collins plays a psychiatrist who does consulting work for the criminal justice system and who wants to see his niece, a police court judge played by Myrna Loy, married. Vallee plays an assistant district attorney (ADA) who is romantically interested in Loy's character but is frustrated by her lack of interest and Collins' overt hostility. Between her career and caring for her teenage sister played by Temple, Loy is content to spar with Vallee but keeps him at arms length.
For those who are having trouble with the "lady judge" in the 1940s angle - there were a few especially as lots of young male lawyers had gone off to the war and left opportunities for women in legal careers as in other fields, Loy plays a minor court judge, and she has relatives in the system (the aforementioned uncle and another who seems to be a retired judge). One also needs to know the times to understand that "bobby-soxer" refers to young girls wearing sox with the tops turned down ("bobbed" which means shortened). Another historical note - at least one reviewer has mentioned that there is a hint of pedophilia in the relationship between the characters played by Temple and Grant (mild by comparison to The Major And The Minor with Ray Milland and Ginger Rogers pretending to be 12). This is a somewhat anachronistic view as the trend has been toward raising the legal age of consent and the age for marriage in the two generations that separate us from the time this film was made. The idea of the high school girl and the playboy artist dating or marrying would have been a bit scandalous in a middle class milieu like this, but it would not necessarily have seemed criminal to most folks.
So now we come to the silly schoolgirl crush which Shirley Temple's character conceives with regard to the urbane, sophisticated, handsome, and slightly rakish artist played by Cary Grant. This is a stock element of many romantic comedies. In fact, there is an interesting parallel between Shirley daydreaming that Cary Grant is a knight in shining armor and the romantic reveries of Reese Witherspoon's character in The Importance of Being Earnest. Our teen heroine in this movie is a bit of what we would now call a "drama queen." We see this not only in her relation to the older artist, but in the way she returns to her high school beau talking about how handsome he will be in uniform (he just got his draft notice).
When our psychiatrist uncle (Collins) comes up with the idea of having the artist (Grant) pay court to the bobby-soxer (Temple) till she tires of him, he is playing a double - even a triple - game. He wants to put what he considers a real man (Grant) in close proximity to the judge (Loy) and he wants to irritate the assistant district attorney (Vallee) whom he expects will suffer by the comparison.
The artist accepts his unusual form of probation reluctantly and soon begins to see another, and more desirable, side of the judge but each time they begin to get close something intrudes to keep them from acknowledging their feelings. Meanwhile, the artist craftily cultivates the friendship of the ex-boyfriend to keep him in our bobby-soxer's company.
The scene at the community picnic where the artist and the ADA compete (sack races and such) for ribbons, and the attention of the judge, is hilarious, especially as our bobby-soxer bribes the high school boys to help her artist to beat the ADA. And the later scene in the nightclub is also a real winner.
The chemistry between Grant and Loy here is not the greatest, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is much better in that department, but they give a good account of themselves as reluctant lovers. Loy was always fabulous as the straight partner for a physical comic actor which she perfected in over a dozen pairings with William Powell (I Love You Again, Love Crazy, the Thin Man series, etc.). Through most of this film Grant has little scope for his physical comedy (especially as compared to Bringing Up Baby or Monkey Business) which is why the picnic sequence really shines, but his facial expressions and voice make the most of the limited possibilities, especially in the nightclub scene where there is a lot going on in a small space and Cary Grant still shines.
This movie is a bit dated, and I don't think you could make it today with the same charm and innocence. But it is a joy to watch on its own terms and I highly recommend it.
Some may say the storyline is farfetched - but most movies are guilty of this crime. The movie is original in idea, but had the same formula and end results for the productions made back then (and a few right now).
Highly Recommend this movie.
The story is a lightweight and goofy one but would appeal to many people. It's a little slow at first but once Shirley Temple (now in late teens) begins to get a crush on Grant, it picks up. However, be warned that especially with comedies the humor often appears dated decades later, and this surely does, too.
It's not what I'd call "hilarious," but it's a pleasant film and one of the few good ones featuring Temple as a young lady. Almost all of her memorable films were when she was a youngster in the 1930s. This gets passable grades, however.
My favorite scenes from "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" include the following (DO NOT read any further until after you have seen this picture). On the evening that Susan sneaks into Richard's apartment hoping to pose for him, Richard turns on his radio and hears a nice orchestration of "My Shining Hour," after which he is horrified to see Susan lying on his couch; he then hears loud bangings on his door as the next song announced on the radio is "Last Ride in a Patrol Wagon"! While sitting in jail, Richard offers a hilarious explanation (which escalates in confused anger) to his attorney (Dan Tobin). In order to win the disapproval of Margaret's & Susan's cranky great-uncle Judge Thaddeus Turner (Harry Davenport), Richard shows up at the Turner household hastily dressed like a zoot, playfully adopting the slick jive talk and fancy footwork as only Cary Grant could do so well. Later on at the picnic, Richard and assistant district attorney Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee), with whom Richard had an altercation during his aforementioned arrest, spend a very silly afternoon competing in the picnic races; Richard fails miserably until the final full-fledged obstacle course, in which Susan's spurned boyfriend Jerry (Johnny Sands) fixes it so that Richard wins. Richard and Margaret hope to spend a quiet evening together at a nightclub, but they are soon unexpectedly joined, one by one, by Susan, Jerry, Tommy, and a young couple (Don Beddoe and Vera Ann Borg) with whom Richard had the altercation that brought him to Margaret's court in the first place; without having done anything wrong, Richard becomes insulted, yelled at, splashed in the face with wine, and stuck with the check while everyone else angrily leaves Richard's table, including Margaret. And finally, back at the Turner residence, the slamming of various doors infuriates Thaddeus until he himself behaves immaturely.
"The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" is a wonderful comedy with an excellent cast. Nobody but Cary Grant could play the role of Richard Nugent, a man who tries his best to be respectable and elegant but who innocently gets caught up in extraordinary situations. Myrna Loy was perfect as the stern yet likable Judge Margaret Turner, who is very loving & protective of her younger sister and who eventually sees just what a charming man Richard is. And Shirley Temple, with whom we are more familiar as a child star, turned out to be a very beautiful adolescent and was perfect for the role of the adorable, intelligent, lovesick Susan Turner.
"The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" is a dated, but delightful screwball comedy that makes you laugh a lot. Cary Grant is hilarious in the role of a playboy and wolf that is involved by an annoying teenager and sentenced based on his reputation. It is impossible to not laugh with the picnic competition and the meeting in the nightclub during the celebration of one of Richard's "acquaintances". If you need something to relieve you from a stressed day, watch this movie that you will certainly feel better in the end. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Solteirão Cobiçado" ("Desired Bachelor")
Once the pace picks up, this comedy sparkles as brightly as any other Cary Grant madcap, which is to say, about as good as comedy gets. The nightclub scene is an absolute triumph of timing, staging, and scripting. The laughs build as the party table becomes more and more chaotic, interrupted by one petty annoyance after another, finally reducing the worldly Grant to speechless exasperation. This is the type of soaring comedic architecture that requires real artistry, but has been sadly replaced in contemporary film by a dumbed- down world of bathroom jokes, insult gags, and other cheap forms of humor that appeal mainly to juveniles.
The movie itself, directed by an unheralded Irving Reis, is literally brimful of bounce and charm, leaving no one in doubt that the big war is over and America is ready for the future even if its libido is showing. With: a slyly endearing Ray Collins, a bemusedly prim Myrna Loy, a pompously befuddled Rudy Vallee, and a well-deserved Oscar for writer Sidney Sheldon, along with a final scene that could not be more apt. Despite the shift in public mores, audiences now as then should find this a highly entertaining ninety minutes of expert movie- making.
Grant's comic timing and mastery at underplaying is evident here as he reluctantly dates Susan, even dressing down and switching cars with her boyfriend to disillusion her. The scene at the picnic, when he tries his hands (and legs) at several events is hilarious. Toward the end of the film, he takes Judge Turner to dinner; before long, the entire cast is at the table talking and arguing as the waiters continually sing "Happy Birthday" to one customer after another, and a diner at another table tries to retrieve Rudy Vallee's chair for his own party - it's a great scene. Loy is sophisticated and glamorous which belies her judge-like decorum in the courtroom, where she's all sternness and intelligence. Temple is very funny as she tries to appear older and calls Grant "Dickie." Her pseudosophisticated talk and haughtiness are amusing, but Temple is at her best when she's being what she is - a teenager. Johnny Sands is positively adorable as her boyfriend Jerry. His bio says he got fan mail until the day he died - I can believe it.
This is such a delightful movie, with a wonderful script by Sidney Sheldon and marvelous performances. The next time you're feeling blue, remember: "You remind me of a man!" "What man?" "The man with the power!" "What power?" "The power of whodo!" "Whodo?" "You do!" "What?" "You remind me of a man!"
But when Shirley goes to his apartment because Grant fed her a line about modeling for him and Myrna catches them there however innocent, it's big troubles ahead.
However Grant gets a chance to get out of trouble if he can disillusion Shirley about himself. And that's what he has to do in the rest of the Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer.
This film comes from the fertile mind of Sidney Sheldon who also had another bachelor/bobby soxer film in Susan Slept Here. But this one is far superior to Susan Slept Here. Let's just say Grant ends up with the right girl in this one.
Cary Grant does a lot of physical comedy here, almost as much as he does in Arsenic and Old Lace. In some of his films the secret of the comedy is that the sophisticated Cary does a lot of out of character physical comedy that's a couple steps up from the Keystone Kops. The whole scene involving the town picnic with Grant in a three legged race, a potato spoon race, a potato sack race, and finally an obstacle course is funny in and of itself because it's Cary Grant doing it.
Myrna Loy in this film is Nora Charles with a career. And that's a good change for her. She's always a woman with a head on her shoulders and a good brain. But it always seems to be second fiddle to her leading man's intelligence whoever it was. I liked seeing her as a professional career woman here.
Rudy Vallee also carries on in the tradition established for him by Preston Sturges's comedies. He's the District Attorney here, a snooty District Attorney as only Rudy Vallee can be snooty.
Also giving good performances are Ray Collins and Harry Davenport as Loy and Temple's uncles, Johnny Sands as Temple's would be boy friend and the one and only Veda Ann Borg as a brassy dame as only she can be brassy.
One of Cary Grant's best comedies from the Forties.
Despite it's highly predictable plot, it isn't the outcome that kept me watching, but the wonderful witty script and comic timing. I understand that the behind the scenes tension, secondary to Ms. Loy being accused of a communist by McCarthy, was thick. But you would never guess it. The actors appear to be thoroughly, and genuinely enjoying themselves.
And it's that obvious pleasure that oozes out of the screen and into the audience. More than once, I caught myself laughing out loud. Definitely one to take time out and enjoy!
Cary plays his part very broadly--and is, at times, very immature and goofy. And, it is in these moments that the film is at it's best. Well, anyways, Cary is forced into helping Myrna Loy with her younger sister (Shirley Temple--who is way too young to be Loy's sister). And, although it's pretty easy to anticipate where the movie will end, the journey there is so funny and difficult to predict that it is clearly one of Grant's better comedies. Not as good as ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, but what is?