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Showing 1-10 of 104 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 156 reviews
on June 9, 2015
Let's face it, nobody could do the little girl thing better than Ginger Rogers. Just take a look at her in 'Kitty Foyle', 'Primrose Path', 'Monkey Business', and 'Lady in the Dark'. In all these films, at some point, Ginger appears as an adolescent girl. Ginger had a talent for mimicry and light comedy as well as a flair for conveying girlish ness in a way that is believable, and not annoying. In 'The Major and the Minor', miss Rogers plays her best little girl yet.

I won't go into the details of the plot, because other reviews probably already did.

Some think it's ridiculous that we are supposed to buy into ultra gorgeous 30 year old Ginger Rogers with her knockout bod, playing a precocious 12 year old girl. Well, WE are not supposed to. We have to believe that the other characters buy into it. The movie is so much fun to watch, that you forget about it pretty soon, and suspend disbelief...mostly due to the writing, acting, directing, and dialog being so wonderful. Miss Rogers was instrumental in getting Billy Wilder hired for this, his first directing gig, and thank heavens she did.. He really should have given Ginger more credit for kick starting his prolific career.

This is the movie that turned me into a hard core Ginger Rogers fan (Gingerologist), and in turn, made Billy Wilder one of my favorite directors. Do yourself a favor and buy 'The Major and the Minor'. It's a joy from beginning to end!
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on November 4, 2016
I watched with this my kids when they were little, and bought this for my daughter (now an adult). I originally sought out this movie when I found that the Martin/Lewis film, "You're Never Too Young" was a re-make of this great movie. Ginger Rogers is just great, in almost any part she played. I think you'll love this, and you need to buy it 'cause you'll want to watch it again, and again! Dave (in Colorado)
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on November 2, 2015
Major laughs with a minor twist. Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland are a comedy duo in this classic black and white film. a frustrated city girl (Rogers) decides to disguise herself as a youngster in order to get a cheaper train fare home. She finds herself in a heap of grown-up trouble when she hides out in a compartment on the train belonging to handsome Major Kirby (Milland). He insists on taking her to the military academy he works at after the train stalls. This film is not rated, and like I said is in black and white. Its an unforgettable charming comedy.
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on July 4, 2015
This one of Ginger's finest performances ever. Nobody male or female, can transform themselves into a totally different person with the ease and skill of Ginger Rogers and she gets it perfectly in the Major and the Minor. There is a very, very slight twinge of perversion in this film, but taken in the right spirit, it is one of the nicest movies ever. It's packed with tenderness and subtile humor and not-so-suttle humor. Once Ginger actually did cheat on train fare as a youth travelling with her mother in the early lean years. And what else? Her mother plays her mother. This is one of my all-time favorite movies.
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on June 11, 2015
In the early days of television local channels showed a lot of 30s and 40s movies because the studios didn't want them and they were cheap to broadcast. I became a great fan of them and this was one of my favorites. When I first saw it on TV I was too young to appreciate the premise of the script that skirted ever-so close, but never quite over, the edge.
What I did find fascinating was the costume change that Edith Head designed for Rodgers to preform in the in the ladies room of the train station. With just few twists and turns sophisticated Susan Applegate turns into a (almost) believable child Sue-Sue!
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on July 6, 2010
"You know Sue-Sue, when I look at you with just my bum eye, you look almost grownup. Sue-Sue, you're a knockout!" -- Milland to Rogers

Ginger Rogers gave an enchanting performance in one of the most unusual films Billy Wilder ever helmed. He turned the worn out premise of children playing grownup on its ear by having Ginger Rogers portray a child. She masquerades as a twelve year old girl in order to get a half-fare train ticket back home to Iowa. The results proved to be one of the most charming, yet difficult to define romantic comedies ever filmed. The Austrian born director whose career in films began in Berlin as a screenwriter during the late 1920's, soon saw the writing on the wall and got out of Germany. He landed in Hollywood in the early 1930's with the help of Joe May. His ability to write a great story would remain an earmark of the director throughout his long and illustrious career.

Writing with Charles Brackett for Major and the Minor, their wit provided the farce, but the execution rested entirely on the very lovely shoulders of Ginger Rogers. Just as in Kitty Foyle, this delightful romantic fluff is nothing without her. She is as important to this film as the script and director, and it is because of her we are left smiling and charmed when the end credits roll on a film so absurd, common sense must be completely cast aside in order to enjoy it. It is the most perfectly executed, perfectly absurd romantic comedy of the 1940's. This film belongs to Ginger Rogers, and it could not be in better hands.

Susan Applegate is finished giving scalp treatments to lecherous Park Avenue husbands who want a different kind of treatment. It has taken her a year to save exactly the right amount for her train fare back to Stevenson, Iowa. Her plans to leave are given a damper, however, when she discovers the rates have changed and she is a bit short. A plan soon develops when she watches a mother purchasing a ticket for her daughter for much less. What follows is a delightful farce you can't stop watching as Ginger Rogers appears from the ladies room pretending to be twelve. It's delicious fun for the viewer watching her pretend once onboard the train. She finally gets caught having a smoke just outside the car she's riding in, and the real fun begins!

Ducking into the birth of Major Philip Kirby (Ray Milland) during the chase, she finds herself a bit leery of her new 'uncle' but soon becomes attached, heading down the road towards what girls who are twelve would call a crush. Susan isn't twelve, however. To keep the protective Philip out of trouble with his fiancee, Pamela (Rita Johnson), when she discovers Susan in his train compartment, she happily agrees to accompany him to the military school so he can explain, continuing the charade. Pamela's little sister, Lucy (Diana Lynn), isn't buying any of the act, but soon becomes Susan's closest ally in trying to keep Pamela from squashing Philip's dreams. Rogers is hilarious fending off the battle plans of an entire school of young and amorous cadets. Milland is quite amusing as well, trying to shake off momentary lapses of inappropriate inclinations for a twelve year old for which he can't quite grasp the cause. His talk with her about the young cadets is very funny, Susan milking the situation for all it's worth.

Pamela suspects there's something strange about Susan, and once Robert Benchley remembers where he's seen the little tike and passes it on, she sets a trap, prompting Susan to leave behind Phillip for the good of his career. Back in Stevenson, more charm and romance are to come, as well as more charades, as Philip makes a trip to deliver Lucy's gift to Sue-Sue. The final scene at a train station is a wonderful moment, pulled off beautifully by Rogers in an enchanting performance. Despite the premise, there is a charm and innocence about this film that is very much of the era in which it was filmed. Beautifully scripted, directed, and acted, this is a wonderful time capsule to romantic farce filmmakers of today could benefit from viewing. Diana Lynn is especially good as Rogers' pal. I highly recommend the region 4 version above this one, which has a terrific booklet about the film by Karli Lucas, and profiles of both Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland. If you need it on a region one DVD, however, this is a good print and the only one available. It is available used on VHS for region one as well, however. A must see for Rogers' fans.
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on June 2, 2014
There are other movies like this one. "Too Young to Kiss" with June Allyson and Van Johnson; "Never Too Young" with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin to mention just a couple. Each of these are great movies, too. This was probably the first and is certainly a great presentation of the theme. Ray Milland and Ginger Rogers are so good together. He, the dashing US Army Major, and she, pretending to be a young teenaged girl in order to get the cheaper fare on the train. She has to keep up appearances though, no matter how much she falls in love with the debonair officer. This is a funny and tender movie, and one that everyone will enjoy.
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on March 15, 2017
Is there anything that Ginger Rogers can't do?
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon May 28, 2008
Lest we forget, Ginger Rogers did have a successful movie career without Fred Astaire. Girl even won a Best Actress Academy Award. Ginger always was a fair hand at her craft, with the acting and the hoofing. She wasn't too shabby with the comedy, either, as this film proves. In 1942, Paramount Pictures released THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR, which is delightful and was so well liked that it garnered a remake in 1955, YOU'RE NEVER TOO YOUNG (with Jerry Lewis playing the Ginger Rogers role), which pales in comparison. Note that THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR also launched Billy Wilder's career as a Hollywood director.

This is a starring vehicle for Ginger Rogers who plays Susan Applegate. Susan, after one year and 25 jobs in New York, finally has had enough of the Big Apple and is heading back home to Iowa. At the train station, she finds that she doesn't have enough money to cover her train fare. And the bus line, she learns, is on strike. But then she stumbles on a way around: Children under twelve get their train tickets for half-price. So, a bit of tugging and adjusting and one pilfered balloon later, Susan the scalp massager turns into Su-su, a pig-tailed eleven-year-old girl (but turning twelve, next week).

On the train but fleeing the conductors, she runs into Major Philip Kirby (Ray Milland), a military academy instructor and a concerned citizen, who allows the "lost little girl" to sleep in his room's bottom bunk. During a train delay, a misunderstanding involving Su-su lands Major Kirby in hot soup with his fiancee and her father (who also happens to be his commanding officer). Kirby then asks Su-su to accompany him to the military academy to straighten things out. This isn't the best of ideas...

While I haven't seen too much of her stuff, I do count BACHELOR MOTHER and THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR as two of my favorite Ginger Rogers comedies. I don't know how Billy Wilder pulled it off, but this film ends up a totally enchanting picture. Plenty of innuendo, of disguised salaciousness, but Wilder, very mindful of his American debut status, somehow keeps it all in good taste. It's a sexual farce, yeah, but Wilder mutes it enough that the audience don't squirm outright.

Featuring a sharp script and wonderful turns by Rogers and former child prodigy (pianist) Diana Lynn, this lighthearted comedy showcases several funny sequences, my two favorites being the hilarious Veronica Lake gag and the cadets' persistent "Maginot Line" ploy. Ray Milland is pretty good as the non-plussed Major Kirby, who finds himself at times oddly uneasy in Su-su's presence. Really, his performance can be second-guessed only when one learns that Wilder had had Cary Grant in mind for the Major Kirby role (and how great would that have been?). Ginger Rogers, who was around 30 years old at this time, physically doesn't really pass as a 12-year-old girl, but I'll take a cue from the film's original audience and be forgiving. Let's just say, she's convincing enough and wise enough as an actress that her Su-su doesn't once come off as annoying. Also, Ginger's talent for mimicry is put to very good use, not only with sounding like a child but also with aping a certain fiancee. Ginger and teenager Diana Lynn have some nice scenes together. Ironically, the most perceptive person in the film is Lynn's character, Lucy, who wastes no time in confronting Su-su ("Maybe you can bluff the grown-ups. You can't bluff me.").

For the captains of trivia, know that Ginger Rogers' real life mother pops up in the later scenes to play Ginger's onscreen mom. A lecherous Robert Benchley shows up briefly to inject his wry brand of comedy and to get his scalp treatments. This dvd also offers an introduction by Robert Osborne, host of the awesome Turner Classic Movies channel and fount of cinematic fun facts.

Ginger Rogers counted THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR as a favorite, of the pictures she made; it certainly was a hit with the moviegoers. But films like this - and BACHELOR MOTHER and Kitty Foyle - clearly demonstrate that Ginger Rogers did just fine without Fred Astaire.

Ginger Rogers...more than a hoofer.
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on April 29, 2017
Super cute and funny!!
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