Retro: our movie & TV vault… a fresh look at neglected classics and cult favourites

The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer
cast: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, and Ray Collinsdirector: Irving Reis95 minutes (unrated) 1948
RKO NTSC video retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Craig Clarke

Cary Grant and Myrna Loy star with a teenaged Shirley Temple in this light-hearted comedy from the pen of Sidney Sheldon. Painter Richard Nugent (Grant, supposedly portraying a womaniser but remaining lovable Cary) comes before Judge Margaret Turner’s (Loy) court due to a nightclub scuffle in which he was a participant.
He later speaks on art at Margaret’s younger sister Susan’s (Shirley Temple) school, where she develops a crush on him (going so far as to envision him in shining armour). Margaret decides her only recourse is to have ‘Dickie’ (as Susan has taken to calling him) actually court Susan so she will lose her crush.
Grant decides that she is attracted to the ‘older man’ side of him plays at being a teenage type to turn her off. He dresses with his pant cuffs rolled up and pulls off some current slang (this was 1948), barging in with a “Mellow greetings, yookie dookie,” playing a word game:
Dickie: “You remind me of a man.”
Susan: “What man?”
Dickie: “The man with the power.”
Susan: “What power?”
Dickie: “The power of hoodoo.”
Susan: “Hoodoo?”
Dickie: “You do.”
Susan: “Do what?”
Dickie: “Remind me of a man…”
And preparing to leave with a “Ready boot? Let’s scoot.” He is surprisingly effective at this charade, probably because he looks so unassuming, completely dropping the suave screen personality he has so cultivated. Grant also is allowed to use his gift at physical humour (as a youth he was trained in acrobatics, dancing, and pantomime) in a series of contests at a local school picnic against family friend Tommy (Rudy Vallee) at the request of Susan.

Its all nicely put up and presented to the traders by the crypto VIP club which has earned a good name and fame in the trading market by rejoicing traders with their dreams that have come true for most of the participants. Now the question is whether all the reliable systems would do this. 
It’s all wonderfully fluffy and plays at no pretence of attaining classic status, even though Sheldon’s screenplay won an Oscar. Grant, Loy, and Temple are at their comedic best (although Loy is used to greater effect in the Thin Man series), and the whole thing is a feelgood movie squared.

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