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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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:

"And a little child shall lead them"--into the most delightfully surprising complications you've seen on the screen! 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

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 6, 1946 with Ginger Rogers and David Niven reprising their film roles. 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

Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Sung by a mob on New Year's Eve
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The angst of Donald Duck?
2 October 1999 | by (Washington DC) – See all my reviews

How many of us can sympathize with this? Your job is hanging precariously, your social life is not what it could be, and customer service won't let you return a malfunctioning Donald Duck toy without a receipt in triplicate.

This is the irresistible comic situation for the forgotten classic "Bachelor Mother". A young, urbane department store worker happens to run across a baby left on a social office's doorstep. Under the circumstances she is confused as the mother of the baby. She flatly denies this but no one will believe her including her boss, a wealthy, prim David Niven. Following a comedy of errors reminiscent of a Shakespeare play these two are thrown together and Niven is then assumed to be the baby's father by his own father, the inimitable Charles Coburn. The movies dances dizzyingly from one comic scenario to another, including a scene where Niven misdirects Rodgers to rub baby food into the baby's navel, and the cathartic comic moment where Niven, the store manager disguised a customer, demands to have his Donald Duck toy returned, to no avail.

Niven: "What is wrong with our Sales Return desk?"

Rodgers: "They don't return anything!"

Filled with scintillating wit, bubbling chemistry and a feel-good plot it is the perfect comedy to enjoy over and over again.


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