Bachelor Mother ★★★

“Bachelor Mother” is a hoot. That’s my reaction to this 1939 Ginger Rogers/David Niven romantic comedy that is currently on TCM on demand. I will admit that my dance card is very light on the queen of dancers, Ms. Rogers. Until this latest, it consisted of one comedy – “Monkey Business” and one drama, “Storm Warning.” So I decided to give it a try. Frankly, anything released in 1939 seems to have caught lightning in a bottle – it was a helluva year for movies. Ginger plays part-time department store employee Polly Parrish who works at the toy counter, winding up Donald Duck toys so that they waddle across the table for prospective buyers. The store is owned by Charles Coburn’s J.B. Merlin character who is eager that his son, David (David Niven) stop fooling around and settle down. The inciting incident in this story occurs when Polly sees a woman dropping off her baby on the front stoop of an orphanage. Unable to change the woman’s mind, she innocently knocks on the door to make sure the infant is taken care of - and suddenly everyone believes it’s her baby. Oh my goodness! Apparently, according to our ever capable stewards at TCM, this was the movie that helped convince the Hollywood powers that be that Ginger could carry a film without dancing backwards with Fred. And she’s wonderful – she holds the screen well and her comic timing is great. Niven is fun too – he was always comfortable with light comedy and he makes a perfect foil for Ginger. Check this one out, and stay safe.