7.5/10
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58 user 36 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
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3 wins. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Major und das Mädchen See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film parodies Veronica Lake's hair style. Ms. Lake only became 'Veronica Lake' about 2 years earlier. See more »

Goofs

When Pamela arrives at the stopped train, she is directed left to the train car in which Major Kirby has a compartment. However, when she returns to her car which hasn't moved, she approaches it from the right, the opposite direction of Kirby's train car. See more »

Quotes

Susan Applegate: [on the phone, pretending to be Pamela] Cornelia, darling! You beguiling creature! Of course, it's Pamela. I know you couldn't be more surprised. How long has it been? Almost a year? How did my quail recipe turn out? Isn't that chestnut stuffing too beguiling! You did! A great big party? The Chief Justice - and Morgenthau too! I'm sure he asked for more gravy. Well, how beguiling!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Major Fred C. Dobbs (1973) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Major Comedy
29 October 2002 | by eglynnSee all my reviews

The greatest trick this movie pulls off is in fooling its audience that it is a piece of fluff. Admittedly, it is to a certain extent, but nobody is more conscious of the limitations of the genre than the makers of this film themselves. The satire on the mistaken identity disaster is so well done here that every scene contains valuable clues and cinematic winks at the viewer. Is it plausible that a 30 year old woman can pull off acting like a 12 year old? The initial response is no, which Billy Wilder and Ginger Rogers reinforce through the disconnect between Rogers' SuSu and the precocious reality of the adolescent set. The pedophilic subtext of the film seems to be a remarkable case of flipping the proverbial bird to the often restrictive framework of the romantic comedy genre. Rogers' inability to escape predatory advances - whether it be by grownups in the big city or 13 year old military school boys - is an ironic point well made by Wilder; this film indeed seems an exploration of extreme fate. Take the inevitable wedding of Pamela that occurs regardless of the identity of the groom, or the fact that on every date Rogers is subjected to go on with a Cadet, it becomes the exact same date. More to the point, the connection between Ray Milland's Major Kirby and Rogers does not change as they meet with Rogers taking on three separate incarnations. The film is indeed deceptively smart; because it refuses to beat you over the head with the fact, it is still absolutely unassuming and lovable.


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