The Favorite Film:
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, a 1947 romantic comedy directed by Irving Reis
Dick Nugent is a famous artist, almost as famous for his courtroom visits and romantic exploits as he is for his art itself. After a morning in court for inciting a fight between two women at a club, Dick visits a local high school to speak to the students about art. Susan Turner, younger sister of the judge who heard Dick’s case earlier that very day, is in the audience for his speech and quickly finds herself smitten with the artist. Complications ensue for Nugent when he agrees to go on a few dates with the young girl in hopes of squashing her crush on him, on the advice of a psychologist.
Myrna Loy as the honorable Judge Margaret Turner
Shirley Temple as Susan Turner
Cary Grant as Dick Nugent
Rudy Vallee as Tommy
Ray Collins as Uncle Matt
- This was the second film to star Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. They first shared the screen in 1935’s Wings in the Dark, and found themselves paired up again for 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (a long-time TMP favorite).
- Working titles for the film included Suddenly It’s Spring and Too Good to Be True. Another film called Suddenly It’s Spring was released earlier in 1947, starring Fred MacMurray and bearing no resemblance to The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer‘s plot.
- Grant, Loy, and Temple all reprised their roles for a shortened radio adaptation of the film in 1948. Grant and Temple reprised their roles a second time for a 1949 radio broadcast.
- The “man with the power” mind-bender uttered by both Grant and Loy in this film served as the inspiration for a song (“Magic Dance”) in the fantasy/adventure film Labyrinth (1986), starring David Bowie.
- The scenes at Susan’s school were filmed at Beverly Hills High School.
- Screenwriter Sidney Sheldon earned an Oscar for the film’s original screenplay. Sheldon’s success continued long after the big win. To name just one notable project: He was the creator of the now-classic television series I Dream of Jeannie, which ran from 1965 to 1970!
- TCM reports that producer Dore Schary contributed to the direction of the film after Irving Reis collapsed during the first week of filming. Even after Reis returned, Schary continued to assist with the direction, but was not credited for this work.
- Myrna Loy starring as a tough, take-no-bull judge! Yes!
- Susan betting with her friends that Margaret won’t convict the people who pass through her courtroom
- Margaret (to Susan): “You know I’d die for you, only sometimes it’s very hard living with you.”
- Tommy (to Margaret, speaking of Uncle Matt): “You know, I don’t think he likes me. It’s a sort of sixth sense one acquires in the District Attorney’s office.”
- Margaret commanding respect in the courtroom. She’s obviously great at her job and very confident in her role as a judge. Loy plays it perfectly.
- Margaret (predicting Dick’s excuse for being late to court): “I know. Your watch is slow.”
- Florence (explaining the fight): “This cut-rate canary apparently resented my appearance!”
- Dick’s bumbling attempt to explain the fight to Judge Turner
- Margaret (addressing the court): “I suggest that you all go home and nurse your wounds, and be a little bit less emotional in the future.”
- A student in the audience cat-calling Dick when he gives the speech at Susan’s school
- Susan seeing Dick as a glowing knight in shining armor when he is on stage
- Dick (in response to Susan’s personal, prodding questions about marriage and love): “Tell me, what kind of paper does this school run?!”
- Susan: “What did you steal?”
Dick: “Crusts of bread… AND THINGS!”
- Dick (to Susan, after she interviews him): “Goodbye, Miss Kilgallen!”
- The reappearance of Dick Nugent, Honorable Knight in the hall way as he leaves the school
- Margaret (upon discovering Susan’s new crush): “I know enough about him to advise you to go back to deep sea diving!”
- Dick (to his lawyer, while sitting in jail): “I hit him. That’s right. But at the time I didn’t know he was the Assistant District Attorney! If I had known he was the Assistant District Attorney… I would’ve hit him.”
- Dick (to Susan): “It isn’t becoming for you to call me ‘Dear’ and ‘Darling’ and all that.”
- Margaret (to Dick, with a mite of sarcasm): “I’m sorry. I’ve never been subjected to so much charm before.”
- Dick: “You remind me of a man…”
- Cary Grant participating in a potato sack race, a three-legged race, a spoon-and-potato race… hilarious!
- Dick (pretending he has no plans to break up with Susan): “We’ll wait for our chance at life! Spring… and Autumn.”
- Susan getting snappy at everyone when she finds Dick and Margaret out together, after Margaret told her Dick wasn’t feeling well enough to go out
- Margaret (to Dick, at the end of their mildly disastrous night on the town): “SHUT UP! THANK YOU FOR A LOVELY EVENING!”
- Margaret: “You and your psychology!”
- Margaret (to a suitcase-packing Susan): “Well, if you’re leaving home you might take something more practical than a doll!”
- Sneaky Uncle Matt scheming to reunite Margaret and Dick at the airport
- Margaret: “You remind me of a man…”
- And then they fly off on vacation together!
Perhaps Shirley Temple’s best adult role. It’s a really funny movie. Grant is fantastic!
Agreed — it’s my personal favorite of her later career. A very fun watch!
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Ooh I haven’t seen this one! I will have to check it out. Thank you! :)
Please do — it’s a delight! Hope you enjoy watching it! :)
I watched this recently for the first time, and just loved it. Favorite part: when Cary and Shirley suddenly do a jig out of the house before heading off to the picnic. It looks so spontaneous and fun…like a quick ad-lib they did during a practice take. I’ll have to watch this one again and review it when I get my site up and running again.