6.6/10
171
9 user

Forty Little Mothers (1940)

Approved | | Drama | 26 April 1940 (USA)
An out-of-work professor gets a break from an old college buddy to teach at an exclusive girl's school. But events conspire against him: he finds an abandoned child which he takes under his... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Arnold Boult is determined to make his son a success at all costs. He commits arson, causes two suicides, and bribes people. His wife, unable to leave him, becomes alcoholic and dies. His ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Deborah Kerr, Ian Hunter
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, Alan Mowbray
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Washington official courts a society matron who is trying to ignore the effects of World War II.

Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Stars: Edward Arnold, Fay Bainter, Richard Ney
Black Girl (1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An aspiring dancer and her wicked sisters resent their mother's love for a foster daughter.

Director: Ossie Davis
Stars: Brock Peters, Claudia McNeil, Leslie Uggams
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

German boy Emil comes to live with his American uncle who tries to teach the former Hitler Youth to reject Nazism.

Director: Leslie Fenton
Stars: Fredric March, Betty Field, Agnes Moorehead
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An orphaned young boy is guided by his great-grandfather and strives to go to university to become a doctor. However, the boy's harsh grandfather stands in his way.

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Charles Coburn, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A stay-at-home husband and his businesswoman wife plan separate vacations, but he doesn't go fishing. He masquerades as a barber on her pleasure cruise.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Genevieve Tobin, Roland Young, Ralph Forbes
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Broadway star Valerie Stanton, breaking up with her producer-lover Gordon Dunning, unintentionally kills him. In flashback, she recalls meeting new flame Michael Morrell, and Dunning's ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gage
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Leo Genn, Claire Trevor
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Stopped in Mexico by U.S. Immigration, Georges Iscovescu hopes to get into the country by marrying a citizen.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Story follows the training and personal lives of three recruits in the Army Air Corps --- a wealthy playboy, a college jock and an auto mechanic. Love interest is supplied by a female ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Ray Milland, William Holden, Wayne Morris
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When they decide they might as well be penniless husbands and wives as penniless campus sweethearts, three couples at a Midwestern university, against the advice of their friends, get ... See full summary »

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Virginia Dale, Joseph Allen, Jeanne Cagney
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Madame Madeleine Granville
...
Judge Joseph M. Williams
...
Marian Edwards
...
Doris
Diana Lewis ...
Marcia
...
Madamoiselle Cynthia Cliche
Margaret Early ...
Eleanor
...
Janette
Charlotte Munier ...
Lois
Louise Seidel ...
Betty
Baby Quintanilla ...
Edit

Storyline

An out-of-work professor gets a break from an old college buddy to teach at an exclusive girl's school. But events conspire against him: he finds an abandoned child which he takes under his wing, despite the school's rules against teachers having a family; and the girls in the school resent his replacing a handsome and popular teacher, and do everything in their power to get him fired. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuarenta madrecitas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's first telecast in Philadelphia took place Wednesday 18 September 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by San Francisco 26 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), New York City 9 May 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), and Los Angeles 22 June 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11). See more »

Quotes

Gilbert Jordan Thompson: Now wait a minute girls, you know motherhood is not a government project - at least not in this country.
[a thinly-veiled reference to Nazi Germany in this 1940 film]
See more »

Connections

Version of 40 Girls and a Baby (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Morning to You
(uncredited)
Sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday to You" (1893)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Sung by schoolgirls
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Eddie Gets A Baby
23 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Forty Little Mothers Has Eddie Cantor first saving Rita Johnson from committing suicide and then taking her baby when he mistakenly thinks someone abandoned it. It was a boy baby and that was a new experience for the man who founded Girls Town, USA.

This is a more dramatic Eddie than was previously seen on screen. He's a meek and gentle history professor, not the schnook he was normally cast as. He's replaced a heartthrob history professor at the college which insists on its faculty boarding at the school and they don't allow kids there. So says President Judith Anderson.

Cantor was cast with a whole bunch of young MGM starlets as the students and was reunited with Busby Berkeley who directs this film. He had done the musical numbers on several Cantor films for Sam Goldwyn earlier in the decade. Cantor only sings one song in the film, Little Curly Hair in a High Chair which had good success.

The woman have some Berkeley like moments serving as the baby's forty little mothers once the ice is broken with Cantor. But no real dance numbers as Berkeley was so well known for.

Look for Nydia Westman who plays Judith Anderson's assistant. She's quite funny, maybe the best thing in this film.

The story is nice though it does get a bit maudlin at times. Probably Eddie Cantor had he gotten something like Ed Wynn got later on in The Great Man or The Diary of Anne Frank, Cantor might have made his bones as a dramatic actor.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?