7.6/10
3,138
44 user 27 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)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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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
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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:

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal K. Dawson (Judge), Renie Riano (Amy Mellish) and Charles Halton (Doctor) are in studio records/casting call lists (with their character names) for this movie, but they did not appear or were not identifiable. 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

Polly: Is there something I can do?
J.B. Merlin: [holding the baby] You've done it.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
Hilarious!
22 May 2006 | by XweAponXSee all my reviews

This is a comedy of errors that escalates to the point of ridiculousness, and I love it. I have never seen David Niven play a comedy role as well as this. The way he plays it is very reminiscent of Cary Grant... His body movements, his tone of voice, and that makes me wonder if the part of Merlin was written with Cary Grant in mind. But Niven does not disappoint... And it is a refreshing change from his Wuthering Heights type serious, pole stuck up his rear acting in other films. Niven' crack about the baby being able to recite the first line of Gunga Din may be a direct jab (or reference) to Cary Grant.

Ginger is not dancing, well, we get to see her dance for a couple of minutes in this... But this film shows us that she is an actress of superb quality, she can play dramatic as well as comedic roles.

Of course the cast included Charles Coburn who was just about everywhere you looked in the 30's.

Little chunks of one-liner humour spread throughout the picture spice it up. I wonder if Disney had to grant special permission so that Niven could break the head off of a Donald Duck toy? Also, there is a part in the flick where Donald Duck (or at least a Donald Duck Toy) plays a very important role. I wonder if it was because RKO also distributed Disney or something like that?

If you have time to burn and they are showing this on TCM it is worthwhile to watch, once, twice maybe even three times. And why not, anyone should watch a few movies directed by Garson Kanin, who also directed "My Favourite Wife" with Grant and Dunne in 1940.


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