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The Major and the Minor (1942)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  24 December 1942 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,000 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 33 critic

A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn't notice the truth.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Major Kirby
Rita Johnson ...
Pamela Hill
Robert Benchley ...
Mr. Osborne
Lucy Hill
Edward Fielding ...
Colonel Hill
Frankie Thomas ...
Cadet Osborne
Raymond Roe ...
Cadet Wigton
Charles Smith ...
Cadet Korner
Larry Nunn ...
Cadet Babcock
Billy Dawson ...
Cadet Miller
Lela E. Rogers ...
Mrs. Applegate (as Lela Rogers)
Reverend Doyle
Boyd Irwin ...
Major Griscom
Byron Shores ...
Captain Durand


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Is She A Kid - Or Is She Kidding?


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 December 1942 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

A Incrível Susana  »

Box Office


$928,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It was decided to include scenes of Susan's (Ginger Rogers's) mother. Spring Byington was the first choice but was appearing in another film. Rogers suggested her real mother Lela E. Rogers, who got the role. See more »


When Pamela drives up to the stopped train, from inside the train her paneled wagon looks clean but from outside it is muddy. See more »


Maj. Philip Kirby: You know Su-Su, you're a very peculiar child.
Susan Applegate: You bet I am.
See more »


Referenced in Wideo Wabbit (1956) See more »


Blues in the Night
(1941) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played on radio and sung and danced by Raymond Roe
See more »

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User Reviews

Major Falls for Minor
26 October 2003 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

"The Major and The Minor" is director, Billy Wilder's, first directorial movie, and it was a hit. About 90% of Billy Wilder's comedies were hits. It's an adorable story about a New York City working girl (Ginger Rogers) wanting to go home to Iowa, but not having enough money for the train fare so she goes as a minor (12 years old). Along the way, she meets a Major from a boys military school (Ray Milland) and gets involved with his life unintentionly and falls in love.

It is an unusual story, but it works. The chemistry between Rogers and Milland is perfection. They made a great team. In 1944, they made another terrific movie, "Lady in the Dark", which was a comedy with musical numbers. This was Ginger Rogers' best movie and Ray Milland was her best leading man. They complimented each other. Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland had something in common, they could do comedy and drama easily. Not many actors can do that.

My favorite thing about this movie is the romance, but the next thing I liked is the supporting actress, Rita Johnson, who was a superb villain in comedies. She was always fighting to get the guy.

I won't say the movie is dated but you do notice the movie represents the 1940's during the war years; it shows how the people looked and acted differently than they do today.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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