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The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

(1947 b 95')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A judge makes a middle-aged artist date her 17-year-old sister until her crush wears off and then falls in love with him herself.

Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy) hears a case about a fight at a nightclub. Richard Nugent (Cary Grant) arrives late and explains the fight. Margaret dismisses the case. Nugent speaks at a high school about art, and Margaret's sister Susan (Shirley Temple) interviews him for the paper. He says how he suffered, and she imagines him in shining armor. Susan tells Margaret about Nugent, and Margaret warns her. Margaret goes out with the prosecutor Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee). Susan goes to Nugent's apartment and falls asleep. Margaret and Tommy worry about missing Susan. Nugent comes home, relaxes, and finds Susan there. Margaret and Tommy arrest Nugent.

In jail Nugent tells his lawyer that Susan came to model, and Nugent admits that he hit Tommy. Dr. Matt Beemish (Ray Collins) tells Nugent that he is the court psychiatrist and will help him. Matt tells his niece Margaret not to make Nugent a martyr lest Susan suffer trauma. Susan tries to visit Nugent and tells Margaret that she loves him. In the chambers of Judge Treadwell, Margaret asks Nugent to help Susan get over him by seeing her.

Nugent goes to a basketball game with Susan, and her boyfriend Jerry White (Johnny Sands) is distracted by her. They meet after the game. Nugent takes Susan home and says he is too old for her. Nugent talks with Margaret by moonlight.

Nugent sees Jerry outside and loans him his car. Nugent takes Susan, Margaret, Matt, and Thaddeus Turner (Harry Davenport) in Jerry's jalopy. At the picnic Nugent loses four races while Tommy wins medals; but Nugent wins the obstacle-course race. Susan tells Jerry she will pay off his friends. Margaret imagines Nugent in shining armor. Margaret tells Matt that she wants to talk with Nugent about not seeing Susan anymore. Nugent gets a call from Margaret, and they make a date. Tommy calls on Nugent and says he is dropping the charges, but Nugent tells him he is in love with Susan.

Nugent meets Margaret at the restaurant, and they like each other and dance. Susan finds them and demands an explanation. Jerry arrives and tells Susan he is drafted. Susan says that Jerry helped Nugent win the race. Tommy joins them and says that Nugent said he was in love with Susan, but Nugent says he was kidding. Susan and Margaret leave, and at home they slam doors, bothering Thaddeus. Susan packs, and Matt tells her why she has been childish and what she will do. Susan tells Margaret that she is renouncing Nugent for Jerry. Matt calls on Nugent, who is leaving town. Matt takes Margaret to the airport. Nugent gets Tommy arrested. Nugent and Margaret discover they are boarding the same plane, and Matt smiles.

This screwball comedy flirts innocently with Freudian themes, and the psychiatrist gets the proper couples together. Seeing the child-star Shirley Temple playing a young woman on the verge of adulthood symbolizes the loss of innocence and coming of maturity in romance.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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