7.5/10
5,240
58 user 34 critic

The Major and the Minor (1942)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 24 December 1942 (Mexico)
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
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During World War II, an undercover British soldier tries get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in five excavations across Egypt.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi café singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A brash American gramophone salesman tries to get Emperor Franz Joseph's endorsement in turn-of-the-century Austria.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Bing Crosby, Joan Fontaine, Roland Culver
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young man-about-Paris, cut off from his father's money, falls in with a picaresque gang of car thieves.

Directors: Alexander Esway, Billy Wilder
Stars: Danielle Darrieux, Pierre Mingand, Raymond Galle
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Patricia Smith
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jealous piano teacher Orville Spooner sends his beautiful wife, Zelda, away for the night while he tries to sell a song to famous nightclub singer Dino, who is stranded in town.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Buddy Buddy (1981)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Paula Prentiss
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
Fedora (1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attempts to lure Fedora, a famous but reclusive film actress, out of retirement.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Marthe Keller, Hildegard Knef
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A middle-aged playboy becomes fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier
Avanti! (1972)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A successful businessman goes to Italy to arrange for the return of his tycoon-father's body only to discover dad died with his mistress of long standing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, Clive Revill
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ginger Rogers ... Susan Applegate
Ray Milland ... Major Philip Kirby
Rita Johnson ... Pamela Hill
Robert Benchley ... Albert Osborne
Diana Lynn ... Lucy Hill
Edward Fielding ... Colonel Oliver Slater Hill
Frankie Thomas ... Cadet Osborne
Raymond Roe ... Cadet Anthony Wigton Jr.
Charles Smith ... Cadet Korner
Larry Nunn ... Cadet Babcock
Billy Dawson Billy Dawson ... Cadet Miller
Lela E. Rogers Lela E. Rogers ... Mrs. Applegate (as Lela Rogers)
Aldrich Bowker ... Reverend Doyle
Boyd Irwin Boyd Irwin ... Major Griscom
Byron Shores Byron Shores ... Captain Durand
Edit

Storyline

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 <jem3@donuts0.bellcore.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is She A Kid - Or Is She Kidding?

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Major und das Mädchen See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$928,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,380,000, 31 December 1942
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As a neophyte director, Billy Wilder heavily relied on editor Doane Harrison for guidance. Harrison had edited Hold Back the Dawn (1941), which Charles Brackett and Wilder had written. Unusually for an editor, Harrison was on the set for filming as well as working in the cutting room. Wilder later said, "I worked with a very good cutter, Doane Harrison, from whom I learned a great deal. He was much more of a help to me than the cameraman. When I became a director from a writer my technical knowledge was very meagre." Harrison taught him how to "cut in the camera," a form of spontaneous editing that results in a minimal amount of film being shot and eliminates the possibility of studio heads later adding footage the director deemed unnecessary. In later years, Wilder commented, "When I finish a film, there is nothing on the cutting room floor but chewing gum wrappers and tears." Wilder's and Harrison's unusually close and important collaboration continued for every subsequent film directed by Wilder through The Fortune Cookie (1966). See more »

Goofs

The cadet left the switchboard to get a radio, and returned with a battery portable valve radio. Although quite expensive to buy and to operate, there was a very large market for battery portable valve radios and they were very common throughout the valve era. Batteries were the only possible power supply, because valves with "heaters" used with AC mains power electricity appeared after the D.C. battery types. Texas Instruments in 1952 demonstrated their all-transistor AM radios, but their performance was well below that of equivalent battery tube models. In August 1953 a workable all-transistor radio was demonstrated at the Düsseldorf Radio Fair by the German firm Intermetall. If you had no knowledge of the existence of battery portable valve radios in 1942, you might mistakenly believe that the portable radio is a fake, because the portable transistor radio was not invented till 1952. See more »

Quotes

Pamela Hill: You ought to be asleep. And Su-Su, too.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Never Been Kissed (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Sue, Just You
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Will J. Harris
Sung by chorus of cadets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Half fare please!
28 November 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Billy Wilder and his excellent collaborator, Charles Brackett, knew what the movie going public of the time wanted to see. So, it's not a surprise they achieved a great hit with "The Major and the Minor". One has to go back to the time this film was made to realize what the creators of this comedy accomplished. This marked the first Hollywood film Mr. Wilder directed and his touch is everywhere. The movie stands the passage of time.

"The Major and the Minor" works because of its two stars. Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland were versatile actors who showed perfect chemistry in the film. Both do excellent work guided by the masterful hand of Billy Wilder.

Ginger Rogers' take on the little girl is fine. Of course, we, the viewers, know what is going on, but to the rest of the people she is nothing but the innocent, and young SuSu Applegate. Ray Milland, on the other hand, is proper throughout the film until the end, when the mystery is solved. Mr. Milland's timing is impeccable and he makes his Maj. Kirby a sort of absent minded "uncle" to the young SuSu.

Billy Wilder showed a flair for this type of comedy. He got wonderful supporting performances from Rita Johnson and the disarming Diana Lynn, as the two sisters with different viewpoints on everything. Also, the opening sequence involving the incomparable Robert Benchley shows us a lecherous man who has hired the grown up Susan for a scalp treatment, that in his mind will lead into something else. Mr. Benchley and Ms. Rogers are hilarious.

This film established Billy Wilder as a director who went far and enjoyed a long career.


36 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 58 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed