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Film / The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

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It's just weird seeing Shirley Temple this way.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer is a 1947 comedy film directed by Irving Reis, starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple.

The premise? Teenaged Susan Turner (Temple) falls head over heels for an older man, Richard Nugent (Grant), an artist who gives a lecture at her school. After she sneaks into Richard's apartment and is discovered there and he finds himself facing criminal charges, Susan's older sister and guardian, Judge Margaret Turner (Loy), and uncle, court psychiatrist Dr. Matt Beemish (Ray Collins), make a deal with Richard: charges will be dropped if he dates Susan until her crush subsides.

This results in a series of hilarious incidents as Richard attempts to adjust to the ways of '40s teenagers while simultaneously trying to convince Susan he's not right for her. Adding further complications are Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee), an assistant D.A. with designs on Margaret, and Jerry White (Johnny Sands), the teenage boyfriend Susan dumped for Richard. Of course, at the end of the day, there's a happy ending.


Won an Academy Award for best original screenplay, written by future romance novelist Sidney Sheldon.

This movie has examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Richard when he is caught wearing a robe, with a sexy 17-year-old girl in his apartment.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Richard, ordered to squire Susan around until she snaps out of her crush, tries talking sense to her after they come home from the high school basketball game.
    Richard: The basketball game was fun tonight, but it can't go on.
    Susan: Yes I know, the season's over next week.
  • Disappeared Dad / Missing Mom: No hint is given as to what happened to Margaret and Susan's parents.
  • Dogged Nice Guy / Romantic False Lead: Jerry, the assistant DA, who clearly has no shot at winning Margaret's affections.
  • Jail Bait: 19-year-old Shirley Temple as the jail bait, no less, playing 17-year-old Susan. Almost nobody believes Richard when he tells them that the sexy high-school girl snuck into his apartment on her own hook and he made no advances. Really the only thing that saves this movie from Squick territory is that Richard clearly has no interest at all in Susan.
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  • Jail Bake: Susan sends Richard a very obvious file-in-cake.
  • The Judge: Margaret Turner.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Both Susan and Margaret visualize Richard literally dressed like this.
  • Mammy: The Turners have a standard-issue sassy black maid.
  • The Matchmaker: Margaret's uncle is campaigning for her to get married, and he eventually sets his sights on Richard and steers the two of them together.
  • Precocious Crush: Susan for Richard.
  • Pretty in Mink: Margaret wears a mink stole when she and Richard confess their own feelings to each other.
  • Promotion to Parent: Margaret, presumably.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Susan is intoxicated by the suave older man, Ricard.
  • Suicide Pact: Richard tells Susan his parents had one.
  • Who's on First?:
    Margaret: You remind me of a man.
    Dick: What man?
    Margaret: The man with the power.
    Dick: What power?
    Margaret: The power of Hoodoo.
    Dick: Who do?
    Margaret: You do.
    Dick: Do what?
    Margaret: Remind me of a man.
    Dick: What man?
    Margaret: The man with the power.
    Dick: What power?
    Margaret: Give up?
    Dick: Give up. Let's go.


Example of: