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on November 28, 2003
Want some insight into what titillated movie-goers in the post-war 1940's? This 1947 RKO production is a good place to start. There's the marquee value of a seductively handsome Cary Grant coupled with that spunky symbol of all-American innocence Shirley Temple, enough at the time to draw in ticket-buying throngs with its naughty innuendo of daring departure and forbidden pleasure. In fact, the underage subtext lingers beneath much of the movie's plot and humorous settings, but in a totally innocent manner, proving that this is not yet the more permissive 1960's. One slip, however, and this light-hearted souffle could easily have become burnt-toast of the most tasteless variety. Fortunately, there are no slips.
Once the pace picks up, this comedy sparkles as brightly as any other Cary Grant madcap, which is to say, about as good as comedy gets. The night club scene is an absolute triumph of timing, staging, and scripting. The laughs build as the party table becomes more and more chaotic, interrupted by one petty annoyance after another, finally reducing the worldly Grant to speechless exasperation. This is the type of soaring comedic architecture that requires real artistry, but has been sadly replaced in contemporary film by a dumbed- down world of bathroom jokes, insult gags, and other cheap forms of humor that appeal mainly to juveniles. The movie itself, directed by an unheralded Irving Reis, is literally brimful of bounce and charm, leaving no one in doubt that the big war is over and America is ready for the future even if its libido is showing. With: a slyly endearing Ray Collins, a bemusedly prim Myrna Loy, a pompously befuddled Rudy Vallee, and a well-deserved Oscar for writer Sidney Sheldon, along with a final scene that could not be more apt. Despite the shift in public mores, audiences now as then should find this a highly entertaining ninety minutes of expert movie-making.
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on April 18, 2005
Shirley Temple is Susan, the 17-year-old sister of the rather stuffy Judge (Myrna Loy), who develops an infatuation for artist Cary Grant. Grant is "asked" to date Temple until the infatuation wears off; meanwhile, he and Loy fall in love. There are a couple of terrific scenes, like the one in the restaurant where all the characters converge in grand confusion and misunderstanding. There is also a very appealing breeziness in all the proceedings (helped along mostly by Rudy Valee as Loy's longtime beau and Roy Collins as a psychiatrist). Worth a watch.
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on August 27, 2001
I rented this movie and watched it last night--hadn't seen it in close to thirty years since I was a little girl--and nearly freaked from the deja-vous experience of hearing the "You remind of a man/what man?/the man with the power/what power?/ the power of whoo-doo". And my older sister knowingly said, "Yes, TutorGal, this is where that comes from." I used to chant and chant that as a kid! So much for memory lane; now down to business about "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer." The movie has a bit of a slow start, with pretty static direction, up until the point when high school student Shirley Temple sees ladykiller artist Cary Grant at high school assembly delivering a lecture. Pow! she sees him as a knight in shining armor and is off to corral him. She doesn't know of course that big sis judge Myrna Loy has just had him in her courtroom and has formed a low opinion of his reputed womanizing. Shirley even finds a way to gain access to the unknowing Cary's apartment, where he then unjustly gets slammed with a jailbait charge. Hey, where's this going? Well, Myrna and her assistant DA beau Rudy Vallee decide that the only way for Shirley to get over Cary is for him to date her and probably bore her with his adult ways. And of course, nothing works out like anyone has planned, least of all smug Myrna. As I wrote above, the movie really picks up after about 15-20 minutes and then becomes quite hilarious, with Rudy Vallee particularly good as an eccentric WASP, the sort of thing he does so well . Cary appears to be genuinely enjoying himself, and Shirley has certainly grown to be a real cutie. Myrna's okay, but nothing spectacular this time around. Make a date to watch "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer" and see the whoo-doo first hand!
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on September 19, 2003
This might be one of the more lesser known Cary Grant roles, but it is one of my favorites. It has some of the greatest and wittiest lines which will play over and over in you head. Cary Grant plays a painter/bachelor, Richard Nugent, Cary Grant looks so handsome in this movie mind you, you will be wiping the drool from the corners of your mouth. He keeps having run ins with the law and ends up in court before the wonderful Myrna Loy (remember her from the Thin Man series?), who plays judge Margaret Thatcher. Well through various hilarious circumstances, her young sister Susan falls in love with Cary Grant, and Cary Grant has to be her "boyfriend" to avoid going to jail until she gets over him (yeah, like anyone can get over Cary Grant). Anyway, hilarious events of course take place, and you will be completely mesmorized by Cary Grants abilities at physical humor. Watch for the wonderful dinner scene towards the end of the movie, it will have you rolling. He is able to steal every scene he is in. If your looking for a light hearted comedy, look no further then Bachelor and the Boby-soxer.
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on March 27, 2006
Target of a school girl's weekly crush and victim of circumstance, Richard Nugent (Cary Grant), is jailed for seducing a minor, Susan (Shirley Temple). Though innocence is evident, he has angered the female Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy), who happens to be the minor's sister. In a plea bargain, Grant must "date" Susan until her crush wains. Attempting to wriggle free of his sentence, Grant eschews the mature demeanor that transformed him into the bobby soxer's knight in shining armor. Seeing this other side of Grant draws Loy to judge him worthy of her own affection. Untangling and redirecting emotions results in some hilarious moments.

Movie quote: "Now there's a guy who never goes out of a girl's mind. He just stays there... like a heavy meal."
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on July 19, 2002
Although this movie is not one of Cary Grant's best comedies, it is pretty harmless and quite amusing. By the time The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer was made, screwball comedy was winding down. Since screwball comedies were Grant's main area of expertise, he then had difficulty finding good scripts to do and was often forced to settle with somewhat inferior romantic comedies like this one (he still did make some other excellent films afterwards).
But, as I said earlier, although this lacks the originality and sparkle of some of his earlier films, it is not bad. By today's standards it is excellent - and as an added bonus it contains no obscene language or inappropriate scenes. Like all Grant's films it is tasteful, innocent and good entertainment for the whole family.
Essentially, this movie is a lighthearted romantic comedy that describes what happens when a debonair artist (Cary Grant) is stuck with a teenage girl chasing him (Shirley Temple). As an added bonus, the teenage girl's older sister (Myrna Loy) is also around. This movie has many funny situations, especially one where Grant is forced to participate in a childish series of races at a local fair.
The acting is quite good, and, all in all, this is an amusing, cute movie.
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THE BACHELOR & THE BOBBY-SOXER (Dir. Irving Reis, 1947, 95 minutes) was a bit of fluff which has its ups and downs - mainly the strain to show a bit of teenage high school life as it was post-WWII. Playboy artist Dick (Cary Grant) runs afoul of a circuit court judge (Myrna Loy). What is worse is when the judge's younger sister Susan (a stunning Shirley Temple) falls for Dick.

The plotline and basic story are really very stupid, and could have been handled far better, with far better lines and ... I can't stop myself if I go on describing how this film went wrong. It has hilarious moments which only highlight what might have been. Yet this film, if you know a bit about things, shows how awful life can be for all involved.

When this was shooting, Cary Grant and the director apparently thought none too highly of each other, and Reis at one point walked off the picture. Grant was smarting from the death of a beloved friend, while another of his friends, Howard Hughes, was recuperating from a near-fatal plane crash.

Myrna Loy was being hounded by the House for allegedly being a communist, and Shirley Temple's young marriage was on the rocks. Believe me, despite the excellent and professional work you'll see here, the awful strain shows too. I noted it right away because Grant has a brief few seconds when he is clearly giving the evil eye to someone on the crew (probably the director) - and that little slip-up remains in the film.

To be frank, I cannot imagine how anyone got through this production.

Rudee Vallee, apparently trouble-free here, gives one of his usual stilted and weird performances; the rest of the characters you might recognize but I won't say anything about them. One youngster I'll mention is Susan's former beau, Jerry played by gorgeous half-Cherokee Johnny Sands, and that is one gay looking beauty if ever I saw one.

Sands had only a brief film career in the 1940s and 1950s - this is really his 1st and only major film role. I felt that of the two, he was far sexier and prettier than Temple but that's just me. The natural, sweet charm Johnny Sands displays shamelessly here was a real shot in the arm and I wonder what he was like in real life. He left Hollyweird in 1953 to become a real estate agent, was happily married and got fan mail til the end of his long life.

It's sad to look at this from "a Cary Grant movie" perspective. Just before this, he'd made Notorious; afterward he starred in The Bishop's Wife (1947) and the underrated Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (see my review). But it seems to me THE BACHELOR was a sort of downfall for Grant, who would go on for about ten years appearing in sub-par crapola. He would only come to break this spell in 1957 in An Affair to Remember.

On top of all that, as of 1957, Grant would only have about another decade worth of movies left in him before deciding to retire - which in my estimation was a huge error on his part. Just to round out my Grant soliloquy, it always makes me sad that I have been a patient right in the hospital room where Grant died. He happened to be visiting a town very near my home town when his final illness claimed his life.

Even so, I think this film has lots of interest, is a quasi-classic, and should be viewed at least once. It shows the 1940s getting ready to morph into the 1950s and it isn't always pleasant: I think people should have a chance to see that. I have a love/hate relationship with the role of the black maidservant in the judge's household, played by the ever wonderful Lillian Randolph.

While Randolph's brief appearance at the start of the film can never be robbed of its dignity and beauty, I just have a tremendous problem with the portrayal of black servants. My father was black, descended from Ethiopians, and he was certainly no servant. My own life is filled with childhood memories of segregation, which did not affect me personally, as I am lily-white, but my poor parents! That's enough for me to have attitude about this, no matter how true to life it was.
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on June 23, 2016
... is just plain likeable and charming. Add in Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple and you've got a "cute" movie. It won't change your life, but it will entertain you for 90 minutes. Well, that was my experience.
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on July 22, 2015
Gary Grant is funny, charming, handsome, and everything else we have come to know and love him for in this movie. It also features a grownup Shirley Temple, who is the source of his problems when she misinterprets something he said and gets him into trouble with her sister who happens to be a judge, too. From there you can imagine the nonsense that ensues. If you like romantic comedies or classics then this movie should be in your collection!
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on June 7, 2016
Great old movie. Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple (as a teen) all at the top of their game in a this hilarious farce! Can't miss the happy birthday scene -- amazing comedic timing of the kind that is rarely seen today.
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