Bachelor Mother (1939)
Bachelor Mother is a comedy starring Ginger Rogers as the unexpected mother, David Niven as the spoiled playboy, and Charles Coburn as the grumpy "old man". It's a hilarious movie about circumstances out of control and people making quick assumptions. Ginger Rogers is at her best as usual, but this is not one of her musicals. She does dance but we are not given one of the spectacular routines she is so famous for. Having a knack for comedy as well as dancing, Rogers will not leave you disappointed in this one. And neither will David Niven or any of the rest.
Though this review is written of Bachelor Mother, it is nearly the same story line and plot as its musical remake Bundle of Joy. For more on this later movie, see below.
Merlin & Son employs many men and women in their large and prosperous department store, especially over the holiday season. One of them is a young woman named Polly Parrish. Having been employed only through the Christmas season, Polly receives her last paycheck. Resigned to her fate, she starts for the employment agency and passes an foundling home on the way. She sees a woman leaving a small baby on the steps and hurries to grab the baby before it rolls off. Entering the building with the baby, Polly is mistaken as a mother unable to care for her baby, and despite everything she tries to tell them, they return the baby to her. With a final denial, she leaves the baby at the home and returns to work. But that afternoon she is called in to see the boss. Having been told where she worked, the people at the foundling home have taken it upon themselves to speak to her boss, or in this case, the bosses' son David, and encouraged him to help her financially so that she can keep and provide for her baby. She meets David Merlin who tells her they are giving her back her job for as long as she wants it as well as a raise of salary. Stunned, Polly is incredibly grateful but she can't understand this new and unexpected kindness. Added to all this she is told she will receive her real Christmas present when she goes home that night.
Meanwhile, Freddie with his mistaken ideas, tries to get Polly to get him a better position in the store since she's in tight with the bosses son. Of course, Polly has no idea what he's alluding to and eventually when he doesn't get what he wants he decides to take matters into his hands.
The next morning, Mr. Merlin receives a note from a "friend" telling him that he has a grandson. David suspiciously runs off so Mr. Merlin follows and finds David with Polly and the baby in the park. Teary eyed, the old man asks to hold the baby. David and Polly can't understand his emotion but suddenly, when his father leaves, they both realize what he must of thought.
Bundle of Joy (1956)
Both versions have their good points so I can't tell you, for once, which I like best. My recommendation? See them both. And don't forget to tell me what you think!
Have a blessed New Year!