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Blondie Brings Up Baby (1939)

Approved | | Comedy | 8 November 1939 (USA)
A salesman convinces Blondie that Baby Dumpling is a budding genius, so the Bumsteads enroll him in a special school from which he disappears.

Director:

Frank R. Strayer

Writers:

Gladys Lehman (screenplay), Richard Flournoy (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy
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Dagwood decides to go to college. Blondie goes along with him, keeping their marriage a secret. They send Baby Dumpling off to military school where he becomes top sergeant. Blondie is ... See full summary »

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Dagwood brings home a pedigreed Great Dane which an important company client wants and which Blondie enters in the big dog show. A highlight of this film is the canine burping display.

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Cynical writer George Wickley arrives as the Bumstead household experiences the birth of daughter Cookie.

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When Blondie mistakes a gold watch Dagwood carries home as her anniversary gift, it leads Dagwood into trouble with his boss, a loan shark, and crooked building contractors.

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Dagwood gets in trouble with bookies and winds up in jail. Bank manager Samuel Breckinridge comes to his rescue to thank Dagwood for getting compulsive gambler Mrs. Breckinridge out of the casino just before the police raid.

Director: Abby Berlin
Stars: Penny Singleton, Arthur Lake, Larry Simms
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Penny Singleton ... Blondie Bumstead
Arthur Lake ... Dagwood Bumstead
Larry Simms ... Alexander 'Baby Dumpling' Bumstead
Daisy ... Daisy
Danny Mummert ... Alvin Fuddle
Jonathan Hale ... J.C. Dithers
Robert Middlemass ... Abner Cartwright
Olin Howland ... Encyclopedia Salesman
Fay Helm ... Mrs. Fuddle
Peggy Ann Garner ... Melinda Mason
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... Mr. Mason
Grace Stafford ... Miss White
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Miss Ferguson, School Principal
Irving Bacon ... Mailman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Hayden ... Elderly Man (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A book salesman sells Blondie Bumstead a set of books on child training because he has convinced her that Baby Dumplin is a child prodigy. Meanwhile, J.C. Dithers, boss of Blondie's husband, Dagwood Bumstead, rips Dagwood for altering the plans on an apartment building the construction firm is building for Abner Cartwright and, to keep his job, Dagwood must get Cartwright to sign off on the changes - the latter refuses in order to escape from an unfavorable contract. Baby Dumpling, the genius, is registered at school and Daisy, accompanying him, is picked up by the dog-catcher on the way back home and taken to the pound. Daisy is adopted by Melinda Mason, the crippled daughter of one of the town's wealthiest men. Baby Dumpling looks everywhere and can not find Daisy, and plays hooky from school the next day. Immediately, Blondie and Dagwood suspect kidnapping, and Dagwood learns that Melinda, also missing, was last seen playing with a little boy and a dog. Dagwood promptly heads for ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Baby Goes To School... And You Go Into Stitches! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blondie Educa o Filho See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original US 16 mm television syndication prints)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fourth of twenty-eight Blondie movies, all starring Penny Singleton as Blondie Bumstead and Arthur Lake as Dagwood Bumstead that were released by Columbia Pictures from 1938 to 1950. See more »

Connections

Followed by It's a Great Life (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?
(uncredited)
Written by Septimus Winner
Played as background music when Daisy appears lost
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Bumsteads: Adventures in Parenting
13 October 2006 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

BLONDIE BRINGS UP BABY (Columbia, 1939), directed by Frank R. Strayer, the fourth theatrical installment based on Chic Young's popular comic strip characters, is by far the most involved in the series with so much happening during its 67 minutes worth of family crisis.

Returning to familiar territory following their previous vacation venture from BLONDIE TAKES A VACATION, the Bumsteads encounter numerous complications at both home and at the office. The scenario this time revolves around Baby Dumpling (Larry Simms) and his dog, Daisy. A book agent (Olin Howland) comes to the front door to sell encyclopedias, and gets around Blondie (Penny Singleton) by making her believe he's there to give her child an intelligence test with the use of blocks. Because Alvin (Danny Mummert), the next door neighbor, is always showing off with his extreme smartness, and calling Baby Dumpling a "dumbbell," Blondie agrees to the examination. While Alvin does everything correctly, the agent fools Blondie into buying the encyclopedias by telling her that her son has an I.Q. of 168. As for Dagwood (Arthur Lake) , whose I.Q. is probably on a low lower, his day at the office is anything but perfect. As an architect designer, he makes changes for the betterment on the Cartwright Building, but because it fails to meet with client Abner Cartwright's (Robert Middlemass) approval, he withdraws his account, causing Mr. Dithers (Jonathan Hale), Dagwood's boss, to fire him. Returning home and keeping the bad news from his spouse, Blondie, who has come to the conclusion that Baby Dumpling is a gifted child (considering that he can recite the alphabet from "A" to"B"), that he should be enrolled in school. School days becomes dog daze for Daisy as she misses Baby Dumpling's company, awaiting outside the schoolhouse until his afternoon dismissal. Daisy is then spotted and captured by dog catchers who take her to the pound. Baby Dumpling comes home upset that Daisy is lost, and the following day, skips school to search for her. He later finds Daisy on the Mason estate playing with Melinda Mason (Peggy Ann Garner), a rich but lonely crippled girl in a wheelchair whose nurse (Grace Stafford) had adopted the dog from the pound as companion for the child. Receiving the news that Baby Dumpling didn't come to school has the worried parents report the disappearance to the police, at the same time of report of Melinda being reported, who had been wheeled away from the property by Baby Dumpling without anyone seeing them. Things start to really get involved as Dagwood tracks down his son at the Mason estate. While roaming about the grounds, the gardener (Victor Potel), suspecting Dagwood to be the one who kidnapped Melinda, sneaks up from behind, hits him over the head with a shovel, places the unconscious Dagwood in a tool shed and notifies the police. Dagwood awakens to find the tool shed he's in to be surrounded by a police squad throwing tear gas in his direction, handcuffing and placing him under arrest. Poor Blondie. Now Dagwood is missing. Paging the Lost and Found Department!

Far-fetched, amusing and slightly sentimental, this is one of the few times in the series where situations depicted are true to life, such as parents not wanting to let go of their child after sending him off with a teacher to enter a classroom; or from the little boy's point of view, returning home with a "shiner" following a fight (off camera) with another kid at school; Baby Dumpling wanting to go to school by himself and not having his mother around so he won't be made fun of by the other kids (a common occurrence more with middle school students than grammar school kids); the child's top priority in locating his missing dog by skipping school (who could blame him); and some upsetting moments for the parents as they discover the disappearance of their children, fearing the worst. Children needing companionship (doggies, too) makes this a good moral of the story.

On the lighter side, there are some real funny added bits, including the angry Mr. Dithers cooling himself off by placing his head in the shower of water, and placing himself entirely in there when reaching the boiling point. A pity the writers didn't use steam as a substance in cooling off this irritable boss. Daisy's running from and hiding from the dog catchers is another highlight.

BLONDIE BRINGS UP BABY is one of the few in the series to not be restored to its original theatrical opening and closing credits, thus, not giving credit to its supporting players consisting of: Fay Helm (Mrs. Fuddow); Roy Gordon (Mr. Gordon); Bruce Bennett (Johnson, the chauffeur); Irving Bacon (Mr. Beasley, the postman); and Helen Jerome Eddy (Miss Ferguson, the principal).

Honorable mention certainly goes to Peggy Ann Garner, years before her achievement as the teen-aged Francie Nolan in A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (20th-Fox, 1945) as little Melinda. Her scenes are certainly heartfelt and natural, especially when encouraged by Baby Dumpling to get up from the wheelchair and walk. This alone is sure to leave viewers of sentimental nature with tears building up in their eyes. And speaking of eyes, there are certain characters who've obtained some black ones, Dagwood for one, Baby Dumpling another, and Mr. Cartwright with two black eyes, one from Dagwood and another punch from Mr. Dithers. Black eyes were quite common in the comic strips years before being toned down due to violence upset from readers.

BLONDIE BRINGS UP BABY, formerly presented on American Movie Classics (1996-2002), is available for viewing on either the VHS or DVD formats. Next installment: BLONDIE ON A BUDGET (1940). (**1/2)


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