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New York working girl Susan Applegate is desperate to go home to Iowa but does not have the railway fare so she disguises herself as a child to ride half fare. Enroute she meets Philip Kirby, an Army major teaching at a military school. Written by
Jack McKillop <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Pamela arrives at the stopped train, she is directed left to the train car in which Major Kirby has a compartment. However, when she returns to her car which hasn't moved, she approaches it from the right, the opposite direction of Kirby's train car. See more »
The greatest trick this movie pulls off is in fooling its audience that it is a piece of fluff. Admittedly, it is to a certain extent, but nobody is more conscious of the limitations of the genre than the makers of this film themselves. The satire on the mistaken identity disaster is so well done here that every scene contains valuable clues and cinematic winks at the viewer. Is it plausible that a 30 year old woman can pull off acting like a 12 year old? The initial response is no, which Billy Wilder and Ginger Rogers reinforce through the disconnect between Rogers' SuSu and the precocious reality of the adolescent set. The pedophilic subtext of the film seems to be a remarkable case of flipping the proverbial bird to the often restrictive framework of the romantic comedy genre. Rogers' inability to escape predatory advances - whether it be by grownups in the big city or 13 year old military school boys - is an ironic point well made by Wilder; this film indeed seems an exploration of extreme fate. Take the inevitable wedding of Pamela that occurs regardless of the identity of the groom, or the fact that on every date Rogers is subjected to go on with a Cadet, it becomes the exact same date. More to the point, the connection between Ray Milland's Major Kirby and Rogers does not change as they meet with Rogers taking on three separate incarnations. The film is indeed deceptively smart; because it refuses to beat you over the head with the fact, it is still absolutely unassuming and lovable.
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