The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

[Screenshot]I knew basically nothing about The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer except that it had Cary Grant and Shirley Temple and was credited as the source of a well-known bit of patter from Labyrinth.

It oozes 40s-Cary-Grant comedy style. It’s not as good as His Girl Friday or Arsenic and Old Lace, but it’s an acceptable exemplar of performance on his part. There are a couple of notable features which struck me: first, this is an actually fairly late work for Shirley Temple, well past her child-star days, and while she doesn’t give a bad performance, it’s clear why her career was considered to be pretty much over at that point. The other striking issue for me was the choice to give Myrna Loy’s character a judicial profession: woman judges were rarities in the 40s, and to see a woman depicted on the screen as holding such a position of responsibility, power, and educational achievement is a pleasant surprise. Granted, everyone still treats her with affectionate patronization and asks when she’s going to get married but, hey, baby steps.

As for that line of patter: Cary Grant uses it on the judge’s family during an ill-conceived attempt to disentangle himself from their affairs by presenting himself as a “hip” (and thus dangerous) influence.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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