7.6/10
3,101
44 user 26 critic

Bachelor Mother (1939)

Approved | | Comedy , Romance | 4 August 1939 (USA)
An unemployed woman discovers an abandoned baby on the steps of an orphanage, and accepts an offer to take responsibility for the child in return for a job.

Director:

Garson Kanin

Writers:

Norman Krasna (screen play), Felix Jackson (story)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A professor marries a nightclub singer, much to the consternation of his family and friends back home.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, James Ellison
Primrose Path (1940)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman from a family of prostitutes falls in love with a hard-working man, but when he finds out the truth about her background, their romance becomes jeopardized.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Joel McCrea, Marjorie Rambeau
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Working girl Janie is proposed to by a conservative car salesman, a bohemian auto mechanic, and a millionaire playboy and must make a choice.

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Ginger Rogers, George Murphy, Alan Marshal
Kitty Foyle (1940)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A hard-working, white-collar girl from a middle-class family meets and falls in love with a young socialite, but she soon clashes with his family.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two strangers share a sweepstakes ticket and then embark on an "imaginary" honeymoon with their "winnings".

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Ronald Colman, Ginger Rogers, Jack Carson
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson
5th Ave Girl (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Feeling unwanted by his wife and children, a wealthy industrialist hires an unemployed young woman to pose as his mistress.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Walter Connolly, Verree Teasdale
Bundle of Joy (1956)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After finding a baby outside an orphanage, a salesgirl receives sympathy from those around her, including her boss' son, as they all assume the baby is hers.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Adolphe Menjou
Carefree (1938)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman is noted for leaving her bridegrooms at the altar until a dashing fireman walks into her life.

Directors: Don Hartman, Rudolph Maté
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Cornel Wilde, Percy Waram
Romance | Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a dancer disappears from a theater, her former lover asks lawyer Clay Dalzell to investigate, leading him on a trail of murder and deception.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: William Powell, Ginger Rogers, Paul Kelly
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Navy sailor tries to rekindle a romance with the woman he loves while on liberty in San Francisco.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ginger Rogers ... Polly Parrish
David Niven ... David Merlin
Charles Coburn ... J. B. Merlin
Frank Albertson ... Freddie Miller
E.E. Clive ... Merlin's Butler
Elbert Coplen Jr. Elbert Coplen Jr. ... Johnnie - the Baby
Ferike Boros Ferike Boros ... Mrs. Weiss - the Landlady
Ernest Truex ... Orphanage Investigator
Leonard Penn ... Jerome Weiss
Paul Stanton ... Hargraves
Frank M. Thomas ... Orphanage Doctor
Edna Holland ... Orphanage Matron
Dennie Moore ... Mary
June Wilkins ... Louise King
Donald Duck Donald Duck ... Donald Duck
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Mother See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 28, 1949 with Charles Coburn again reprising his film role. 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

J.B. Merlin: I don't care who the father is, I'm the grandfather!
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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Remake of Little Mother (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung by a mob on New Year's Eve
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A pure delight
3 January 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Ginger Rogers is young, single, and unemployed when, as the result of doing a good deed, she gets stuck with a baby in "Bachelor Mother," a 1939 film also starring David Niven and Charles Coburn.

Rogers plays Polly Parrish, who on her way home from her last day at the department store she worked for over Christmas, sees an old woman leaving a baby on the steps of an orphanage. Fearful the child will fall down the steps, she is kneeling over him when someone from the orphanage opens the door and mistakes Rogers for the baby's mother. Polly gives the place her name and place of employment before she realizes they think she's the mother. When she runs away and leaves the baby, the orphanage gets busy contacting her employer. She gets the baby and her job back, plus a raise. No one will listen to her, so she gives in and makes up a story. Complications arise with a date who wants to move up in the store to floorwalker and believes the son of the owner (David Niven) is the baby's father. Eventually the store's irascible owner (Coburn) thinks Polly has given birth to his grandchild and insists that his son marry her.

This is a charming little film with wonderful performances. Niven in that stuffed shirt way of his is very elegant and likable, Coburn is great as his demanding father who breaks down and cries as he holds the baby. "I'd know that chin anywhere," he sobs. Rogers is fantastic. She looks gorgeous and even has a chance to dance without Fred around.

Highly recommended. Wonderful entertainment.


19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 44 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed