Father Is a Bachelor (1950) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • William Holden plays a drifter who comes to a small town and discovers a cabin in the forest where five kids: January, February, March, April, and May are living without parents. Their parents died a whole ago, and they want to keep that a secret from the townspeople, especially the young school teacher (Coleen Gray) because they don't want to end up in a children's home and then eventually separated. William's character moves in with the kids and poses as their uncle to take care of them while romancing the school teacher. In order to keep the children, however, he has to get married.

  • In the late nineteenth century, Johnny Rutledge and his partner, "Professor" Mordecai Ford, are proverbial and literal snake oil traveling salesmen. While Johnny performs a minstrel show in black-face to lure the audience in, the Professor makes the sales pitch. Johnny once was a legitimate businessman, but being fleeced himself in that life made him rather live carefree as a vagabond, fishing whenever he and the Professor aren't doing their act, thus basically living hand to mouth. On their latest stop, the Professor is arrested with Johnny being able to evade the police because of his disguise. While Johnny waits for the Professor to complete his jail sentence so that they continue on their way in that partnership, Johnny meets who he learns are a set of five orphaned child siblings, from oldest to youngest January, February, March, April and May Chalotte, with only Jan and Feb knowing about their parents' demise. They have been able to hide their orphaned status from the authorities, the children who do not want to be sent to an orphanage, which is what would happen as they have no other kin. They take an immediate liking to Johnny, who they want to take care of them. Although he has no intention to have them as his responsibility, Johnny, out of circumstance, does end up pretending to be their "Uncle Johnny", at least in the short term, so that the children can live together as a family. But Johnny may decide to lead the life of responsible guardian the longer he spends time with the children, and as he starts mutually to fall for Prudence Millett, the judge's daughter. What could threaten Johnny's decision is the Professor not willing to give up their life once he's out of jail, and/or others finding out his true status as a criminal and/or not as a blood relation to the children, this information used to get what the knowledge holder wants himself.



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