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The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)

127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award winners Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland sparkle in this debut comedy from Academy Award-winning writer-director Billy Wilder. A frustrated city girl (Rogers) decides to disguise 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 handsome Major Kirby (Milland) and he insists on taking her to his military academy after the train is stalled. This "memorable comedy" (Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide) is a laugh-out-loud classic for all ages!

Special Features

  • Exclusive introduction by Turner Classic Movies Host and Film Historian Robert Osborne
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
    • Directors: Billy Wilder
    • Format: Black & White, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: English, French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
    • Run Time: 101 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0012GVMIU
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,092 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on February 20, 2008
    Format: DVD
    Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland star in master director Billy Wilder's 1942 screwball comedy classic THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR, a rollercoaster ride of laughs from beginning to end.

    Fed up with her life in New York, Susan Applegate (Ginger Rogers) decides to go back to her small town in Iowa. Flat broke except for the $27.50 train fare which will carry her home, Susan discovers to her horror that the fares have increased. Disguising herself as a 12-year-old girl, "Su-Su" qualifies for the cheaper train fare but later gets sprung by the conductors. Seeking refuge in the first-class compartment belonging to Major Philip Kirby (Ray Milland), "Su-Su"'s kiddie act works and the near-sighted Major is completely charmed by the 'youngster'. But all hell breaks loose when Kirby invites her to stay with his fiancee's family at their house in the cadet academy! As Susan struggles to uphold her masquerade, she finds herself falling for the dashing Major...

    In my opinion, THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR is Ginger Rogers' best movie aside from her Academy Award-winning triumph in "Kitty Foyle". She's an absolute riot with her performance, which runs the complete spectrum during her scenes as alter-ego "Su-Su". Ray Milland likewise follows suit with a well-judged performance as Major Kirby. The talented cast also boasts top performances from Diana Lynn and Rita Johnson. The laugh-a-minute screenplay by Billy Wilder and frequent collaborator Charles Brackett is still remarkably fresh. It was loosely-based on a story by Fanny Kilbourne entitled "Sunny Goes Home"; later turned into a play ("Connie Goes Home") by Edward Childs Carpenter.

    This movie has been a long time coming to DVD. Part of Universal's Cinema Classics line, the disc will also include a special introduction from Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.
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    34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Steven L. Katz on May 26, 2004
    Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
    who says this movie isn't classic? it's one of the funniest. Ginger somehow manages to be a surprisingly good little girl. (if not 12, then 14 maybe, but who cares?) she should have been nominated for an oscar at least. i don't know how this one made it past the censors untouched! on the train, when Ginger wakes because of the lightning, and Ray MIlland comes down to comfort her in her bed (he doesn't know she's really an adult) we can only imaginge what's going through her mind! and when she presse her cheek against his chest? HOLY MACKERAL! He thinks she's shaking because of the lightning, but we know better, heh heh...
    Ginger is also Hilarious with all the looks and wisecracks that she gives. One of the best lines she has is, after being compared to a lightbulb (moths like lightbulbs) when Ray sees a cadet smooch her. He explains ( in another risque conversation!) that she should be careful around the boys, becase they're attracted to her. She replies: I'll try to be a well behaved lightbulb! Also watch for a little tap-dancing on her part, brings back memories of the thirties. But this movie is definately one of my favories dancing or no.
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    19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Ferrer on January 19, 2005
    Format: VHS Tape
    When Fernando Trueba won the oscar for Belle Epoque, he said "I do not believe in God, but I believe in Billy Wilder". It was said that a few days later phone rang at Trueba's house, he picked it up and said hello. The voice at the other side said: Hello This is God.

    I have alwyas being a great fan of Mr Wilder, and this film being his first in America, just shown how wonderful director he was.

    Susan Applegate after a series of misfortunes in the big city is tired, and she wants go home, but she has no money for the train ticket, so disguises as a minor she is in her way home.At the train she mets Major Kirby (Ray Milland), worried for a poor 12 years old gril travelling along he takes care of her, and takes her to the military academy where he is teaching.

    From this moment on there is a funny film, with the struggles of Sue to leave the place and the difficult situation for Kirby who is attracted to a minor. Wilder makes a great script and you will be laughing all the time. This is one film that can be considered as a classic comedy with funny Robert Benchley and Ray Milland, who although not one of my favourites, certainly is perfect in this film.

    But Ginger Rogers is the best. Her scene at the train when she meets Kirby is hilarious and she keeps the high level of the comedy all the time. If you think she could only dance with Fred better think it twice, because she will surprise you.
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    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James L. on January 19, 2002
    Format: VHS Tape
    This film has raised a few eyebrows over the years, since the subject matter is of a grown man falling in love with a woman pretending to be a twelve year old girl. However, upon viewing, you will discover that this comedy presents the material in such an innocent way, you simply have to suspend disbelief and enjoy the complications that ensue. Ginger Rogers is the woman/girl who pretends to be the child to get the child's fare on the train since she is short on cash, and Ray Milland is the officer she meets on the train who takes care of her. She ends up at the military school where he works, and she causes quite a sensation amongst the young cadets. But more than that, she stirs up things in the relationship between Milland and his fiancee. Rogers does as well as anyone could playing a twelve year old in pigtails, making it almost believable that she could fool everyone. She's a lot of fun and well matched by Milland. Diana Lynn is terrific as Milland's fiancee's young sister, the only one who sees through Rogers' masquerade. There's a number of really funny moments, such as Rogers fending off the juvenile advances of the young cadets, and the hair "epidemic" of the girls at the dance (I don't want to give the funny visual away). Billy Wilder's clever dialogue is a treat to listen to (as usual) and deceptively adult. If you accept the premise of the film at face value, you'll find a number of laugh-out-loud moments and endearing characters in this comedy that is one of my favourites from the early Forties.
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