7.6/10
3,209
46 user 28 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:

Just ten baby fingers and ten baby toes--Troubles? Scandal?--Gosh--Nobody Knows 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

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 6, 1946 with Ginger Rogers and David Niven reprising their film roles. 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

David Merlin: You danced, now, pay the - fiddler man. You have an obligation to that child, fulfill 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

Version of Little Mother (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bye Baby
(1886) (uncredited)
Music by Effie I. Canning
Variations often in the score
See more »

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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.


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