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The Major and the Minor (1942)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 24 December 1942 (Mexico)
2:12 | Trailer
A frustrated city girl disguises herself as a youngster in order to get a cheaper train ticket home. But little "Sue Sue" finds herself in a whole heap of grown-up trouble when she hides out in a compartment with a handsome Major.


Billy Wilder
3 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ginger Rogers ... Susan ('Sue-Sue') 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 ... Mrs. Applegate (as Lela Rogers)
Aldrich Bowker ... Reverend Doyle
Boyd Irwin Boyd Irwin ... Major Griscom
Byron Shores Byron Shores ... Captain Durand


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 | Plot Synopsis


Is She A Kid - Or Is She Kidding?


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The role was very close to Ginger Rogers' heart. When she was touring America with her vaudeville act and chauffeured by her mother, Lela E. Rogers, they could not afford to pay the full fare. Ginger had to pretend to be younger by rolling her stockings down and holding her old dolly to look like a young child in order to get a cheaper fare. See more »


When Pamela drives up to the stopped train, from inside the train her paneled wagon looks clean but from outside it is muddy. See more »


Pamela Hill: Oh, Philip, you adorable man! How utterly beguiling!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The Dutch bought New York from the Indians in 1626 and by May 1941 there wasn't an Indian left who regretted it. " See more »


References Grand Hotel (1932) See more »


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

User Reviews

A classic screwball comedy
27 December 2018 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

This classic screwball comedy marked Billy Wilder's directorial debut and in the Wilder canon it's largely been neglected but it remains a joy from start to finish with a great comic performance from that greatest of comediennes Ginger Rogers. She's a hard-boiled Hannah who has to pass for a 12 year old in order to get a half fare rail ticket, (you see, she doesn't have the money to buy an adult ticket). It's utterly ridiculous which is why it's so funny; that and the fact that it's graced with a great Wilder and Brackett script. Ray Milland is also superb as the Major of the title that she latches onto and naturally falls for and there's a terrific supporting cast that includes Robert Benchley, Diana Lynn and the underrated Rita Johnson. Of course, it lacks the cynicsm of Wilder's later work which in this case is all for the best.

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Release Date:

24 December 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Major and the Minor See more »


Box Office


$928,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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