The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

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The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
Tbatbs1947.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Irving Reis
Produced by Dore Schary
Screenplay by Sidney Sheldon
Starring Cary Grant
Myrna Loy
Shirley Temple
Music by Leigh Harline
Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca
Robert De Grasse
Edited by Frederic Knudtson
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s)
  • July 24, 1946 (1946-07-24) (Premiere-NYC)[1]
  • September 1, 1946 (1946-09-01) (USA)[1]
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $5,550,000[2]

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (released as Bachelor Knight in the United Kingdom[3]) is a 1947 American comedy, directed by Irving Reis and written by Sidney Sheldon. The film stars Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple in a story about a teenager's crush on an older man. The film was a critical success. Sheldon won an Academy Award for the clever screenplay.

Plot[edit]

Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy) and Susan Turner (Shirley Temple) are sisters who live together. Susan is an intelligent 17-year-old high-school student with a habit of forming short-lived interests after hearing the regular guest lectures at the school. Margaret is a judge, and Susan's guardian.

Richard Nugent (Cary Grant), a handsome and sophisticated artist, is a defendant in Margaret's courtroom, charged by ADA Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee) with starting a nightclub brawl. She releases him with a warning when it becomes clear that the fight was started by two women fighting over him.

He proceeds to Susan's school, where he is the guest lecturer for the day—and as he speaks, Susan becomes infatuated with him. After the talk she finds a reason to spend time with him and suggests she model for him; that evening, she puts on a sophisticated dress and sneaks away from home and into his apartment while he is out.

Richard has no sooner discovered Susan in his apartment than Tommy and Margaret arrive to rescue her from his presumed seduction. Richard assaults Tommy and is held in jail until Matt Beemish (Ray Collins), who is the court psychiatrist and also Margaret and Susan's uncle, intervenes and explains the true situation. He recommends allowing Susan to date Richard until the infatuation burns itself out; Tommy will drop the assault charge if Richard complies.

At a high-school basketball game, Richard tries unsuccessfully to boost Susan's image of Jerry White (Johnny Sands), the boyfriend she dumped for him. Later, at a school picnic, Susan persuades Richard to enter a series of novelty races (open to adult family members), where he loses repeatedly to Tommy. But in the main event, an obstacle course, she asks Jerry to help Richard win. Because he still loves her, Jerry complies, helping him directly at one point, then colliding with Tommy so that Richard does win the event.

Meanwhile, Richard and Margaret are becoming attracted to each other, to the discomfiture of Tommy, who sees Richard as a habitual troublemaker and wants Margaret for himself. Hoping Richard will stop seeing Margaret if he no longer has to date Susan, Tommy announces he is dropping the charge. But Richard and Margaret go out to a nightclub, where they are interrupted in succession by all the other main characters as well as a former girlfriend of Richard's. They all part angrily.

Afterwards, though, Matt is able to talk sense into Susan, and she returns to Jerry. Learning that Richard has decided to take a trip, Matt is able to manipulate affairs so that Margaret will travel with him. Learning that Tommy is coming to arrest Richard on trumped-up charges, Matt forestalls him by telling police at the airport that Tommy is a mental patient with delusions of being an ADA. Richard and Margaret are happily surprised to meet each other as they approach the plane to board.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times thought the film "most agreeable" with high praise for the four principal performers, the direction and screenplay.[4]

The film's screenplay (Best Original Screenplay) won an Academy Award for Sidney Sheldon, who went on to create I Dream of Jeannie, Hart to Hart and, as a novelist, Master of the Game (1982), The Other Side of Midnight (1973) and Rage of Angels (1980).

Home media[edit]

In 2009, the film was available on videocassette and DVD.

Radio adaptation[edit]

A Lux Radio Theater adaptation starring Cary Grant and Shirley Temple aired on June 13, 1949. It was also dramatized as a half-hour radio play on the May 10, 1948 broadcast of The Screen Guild Theater with Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple.

Influence[edit]

Some of the patter from the film ("You remind me of the man." "What man?" "The man with the power." "What power?" "The power of hoodoo." "Who-do?" "You do." "Do what?" "Remind me of the man." "What man?" and so forth) was slightly modified ("The Man" was replaced with "The Babe") and used by David Bowie in the song "Magic Dance" from "Labyrinth". It was also used by the Atomic Fireballs in their biggest hit "Man With the Hex".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p221
  3. ^ IMDb: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer - Also Known As Linked 2014-02-23
  4. ^ Crowther, Bosley (July 25, 1947), 'The Bachelor and Bobby-Soxer' at the Music Hall, The New York Times, retrieved 2009-10-15 [dead link]

External links[edit]