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The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)

In director Irving Weis' romantic comedy and farce, noted for its Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay (Sidney Sheldon), it told about three main characters: a bachelor-playboy artist, an impressionable teenaged girl, and a female judge - with all its entangling implications:

  • in the opening municipal court scene, Richard "Dickie" Nugent (Cary Grant) - a womanizing, handsome, and well-dressed bachelor-playboy - had been arrested after a brawl in The Vampire Club - an LA nightclub (instigated by two women fighting over his attentions); although it was his third such charge, he was released by presiding, serious-minded, single Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy), who disregarded the contrary advice of her Asst. DA Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee), her part-time, prissy and stuffy yet hopeful boyfriend
  • afterwards, Nugent appeared as a guest art lecturer to Sunset HS students in a school assembly, where 17 year-old teenager Susan Turner (a grown-up Shirley Temple in a more adult role), who happened to be the ward and younger sister of Judge Turner, was in the audience with her HS boyfriend Jerry White (Johnny Sands)
  • after the assembly, Susan interviewed Nugent for her HS newspaper and immediately became love-smitten and infatuated with him - she imagined him as her 'knight in shining armor' - literally - as he walked away from her; and soon after, she confessed to her older sister: "I'm in love with him - don't you realize that?"

Susan with Boyfriend Jerry White at Nugent's School Art Lecture

The "Bachelor" and the Infatuated "Bobby-Soxer"

Susan Imagining 'Dickie' Nugent as Her "Knight in Shining Armor"
  • Susan also brazenly decided to sneak out of her house and visit Nugent in his apartment to model a dress for him; Nugent was confronted there and accused of being a trouble-making seductor by both the Judge and ADA Tommy Chamberlain; Nugent retaliated and slugged Chamberlain in the nose
  • another similar court case ensued, when Nugent was charged with assault and again called before Judge Turner; after speaking with the court psychiatrist Matt Beemish (Ray Collins), Susan's and the Judge's uncle, Nugent was encouraged to accept an unusual compromised sentence
  • to Nugent's utter surprise and against the Judge's "better judgment," he was ordered to date Susan; the Judge's objective was to 'cure' or end Susan's obsessive romantic interest (as the Judge stated: "Just until she gets over you" and her feelings wear out); to complicate matters, both sisters had boyfriends who were jealous of Nugent
  • there were many instances of the repeated and popular bobby-soxer word-play game or exchange - a hip sing-song dialogue; it was first recited between Nugent and Susan when he arrived to pick her up for the high school picnic: - "Ready poot, let's scoot." - "Greet." - "Greet." - "You remind me of a man." - "What man?" - "A man with the power." - "What power?" - "The power of hoo-do." - "Hoo-do?" - "You do." - "Do what?" - "You remind me of a man." - "What man?" - "A man with the power." - "What power?"
  • there were a number of typical youth settings that awkwardly paired Nugent with Susan at HS events, including a basketball game, a malt shop, and then a high school picnic; in the latter, Nugent competed with other juveniles (including Jerry) in an obstacle course race - and with the assistance of Susan bribing his competitors to lose, Nugent won the race
  • meanwhile, Judge Turner was beginning to fall in love with Nugent; she invited him to dinner and dancing at the Tick Tock Club, where the elegantly-dressed couple were constantly interrupted on the dance floor and at their table by various group renditions of "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary," and a succession of individuals, including Susan and her ex-boyfriend Jerry (who had just been drafted), the Judge's aspiring boyfriend Tommy, and one of Nugent's former girlfriends Agnes Prescott (Veda Ann Borg)
Restaurant Dinner Scene
  • the evening soon spun out of control into another uncomfortable situation (when Susan began acting as a wronged female and threatened to break up with Nugent); exasperated, Judge Turner reprimanded Nugent: "I've had enough of this and I've had enough of you. Everywhere you go, you attract trouble!" and then stormed off before everybody exited; left alone at the table, the waiter came by and asked Nugent (who had been doused by an overturned glass): "Would there be anything else?" - and Nugent replied: "For instance?"; Susan was soon convinced to return to her appropriately-aged boyfriend Jerry
  • in the final scene at the airport, the reluctant Judge Turner and Nugent were set up by her cupid-playing Uncle Matt Beemish to board the same TWA airplane - and spend vacation time together in Chicago; when they realized they would be fellow passengers at the gate, Margaret turned to him and initiated the familiar bobby-soxer word game beginning with: "You remind me of a man"; she ended the recitation with the question: "Give up?" - he quickly replied "Give up. Let's go," and took her arm

Judge Turner (Myrna Loy)

Richard "Dickie" Nugent (Cary Grant) Before Judge Turner

Judge Turner with Hopeful Boyfriend, ADA Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee)

Nugent Awkwardly Dating Susan - At a Basketball Game

Nugent and Susan Reciting: "You remind me of a man" Word-Play Exchange

Dickie Winning at Rigged Obstacle Course Race

Final Scene at Airport Boarding Gate


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