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Bachelor Mother

bachelor mother, bachelor mother ginger rogers
Bachelor Mother 1939 is an American comedy film directed by Garson Kanin, and starring Ginger Rogers, David Niven, and Charles Coburn The screenplay was written by Norman Krasna based on an Academy Award nominated story2 by Felix Jackson aka Felix Joachimson written for the 1935 Austrian-Hungarian film Little Mother With a plot full of mistaken identities, Bachelor Mother is a light-hearted treatment of the otherwise serious issues of child abandonment

It was remade in 1956 as Bundle of Joy, starring Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher This movie also inspired some Bollywood movies like Kunwara Baap


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Reception
  • 5 Adaptations to other media
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Polly Parrish Ginger Rogers is a salesgirl at the department store John B Merlin and Son in New York City Hired as temporary help for the Christmas season, she receives her dismissal notice as the season comes to a close During her lunch break, she sees a stranger leaving a baby on the steps of an orphanage Fearing the baby will roll down the steps, Polly picks it up An attendant opens the door and mistakenly believes that Polly is the baby's mother

David Merlin David Niven, the playboy son of the store's owner JB Merlin Charles Coburn, is sympathetic to the "unwed mother" and arranges for her to get her job back Mrs Weiss Ferike Boros, Polly's landlady, offers to take care of the boy when Polly is at work Unable to convince anyone that she is not the mother, and threatened by David with loss of her job if she doesn't assume that role, Polly gives up and starts raising the child

David's involvement with Polly gradually turns into love, but he keeps the relationship a secret from his father, fearing his reaction When he finds that New Year's Eve has arrived and he has no date, David turns to Polly He orders clothes to be sent from the store and takes her to a party Although David is falling for Polly, he does not relish the idea of a "ready-made family"

When JB learns about the child, he assumes that David is the father His suspicions are reinforced when, in a bit of bad timing, Polly and David each produce a different man whom they claim is the father To his son's surprise, JB is delighted he had been impatiently waiting for David to settle down and provide him with a grandson In the end, David decides that he is in love with Polly and baby John He tells his father that he is the father of the child and plans to marry Polly, all the while believing Polly is the child's mother3


  • Ginger Rogers as Polly Parrish
  • David Niven as David Merlin
  • Charles Coburn as JB Merlin
  • Frank Albertson as Freddie Miller
  • E E Clive as Butler
  • Elbert Coplen Jr as Johnnie
  • Ferike Boros as Mrs Weiss
  • Ernest Truex as Investigator
  • Leonard Penn as Jerome Weiss
  • Paul Stanton as Hargraves
  • Frank M Thomas as Doctor


Louis Hayward was originally announced as the male lead4


The film was a big hit and earned RKO a profit of $827,0001

Adaptations to other mediaedit

Bachelor Mother was adapted as a radio play on several occasions, including five broadcasts of The Screen Guild Theater: the first starred Laraine Day, Henry Fonda and Charles Coburn February 1, 1942; the second starred Ann Sothern and Fred MacMurray November 23, 1942; the third starred Ginger Rogers, Francis X Bushman and David Niven May 6, 1946; the fourth starred Lucille Ball, Joseph Cotten and Charles Coburn April 28, 1949; the fifth starred Ann Sothern and Robert Stack April 20, 1952 It was also adapted as an hour-long play on Lux Radio Theater with Ginger Rogers and Fredric March January 22, 1940 and on Screen Director's Playhouse with Lucille Ball and Robert Cummings March 8, 1951


  1. ^ a b c Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994, pg 55
  2. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 2011-05-16 Retrieved 2011-03-28 
  3. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 2008-12-10 Retrieved 2009-05-10 
  4. ^ American Will Play Opposite Anna Neagle: Williams Wins Lead Metro Seeks Musical Air Series Scheduled Build-up for Hayward Schallert, Edwin Los Angeles Times 1923-Current File Los Angeles, Calif, November 22, 1938, p A10

External linksedit

  • Bachelor Mother on Internet Movie Database
  • Bachelor Mother at AllMovie
  • Bachelor Mother at the TCM Movie Database

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