Monday, March 29, 2010
The Major and the Minor (1942)
The Major and the Minor (1942). Comedy. Director: Billy Wilder. The screenplay by Wilder and Charles Brackett is based on the play Connie Goes Home by Edward Childs Carpenter. Cast: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland and Rita Johnson.
After living in New York for one year, Susan decides to return home, but.. learns at the train stations ticket window that the fare has gone up and she does not have enough for the fare. Susan quickly comes up with an idea when she sees a child buy the ticket at half-price.
She runs into the women's bathroom and dresses as a little girl. She then pays a stranger to buy her a child's ticket on the train. When one of the conductors catches her smoking a cigarette, Susan hides in the sleeper cabin occupied by Major Philip Kirby.
Philip, befriends "Su-su" and hides her from the conductors and lets her stay the night in the lower bunk.
The following day, the train is delayed by flooding on the tracks, and Philip's fiancee Pamela and her father, Colonel Hill, drive up to meet him. When Pamela sees Susan, she become suspicious. Philip brings Susan, to the military school to prove that she is twelve year old girl.
After the misunderstanding is cleared up, Philip insists that Susan stays until someone can take her home. Pamela's teenage sister Lucy sees through Susan, but because her sister is a thorn in her side, she befriends Susan.
Lucy shares that Pamela claims she is helping Philip to get active duty, she actually has been using her connections to prevent him from enlisting. Susan decides to trick Pamela's connections into getting Philip reinstated, when Pamela hears the news, she calls off their engagement.
Pamela learns of Susan's involvement and threatens to expose her and Philip in a scandal. Will Susan reveal her true age to Philip?
I enjoyed this fluffy comedy because of its two stars. Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland who had perfect on screen chemistry in the film. it was also interesting to watch Billy Wilder's directorial debut.
Wilder was driving home from the studio one evening and pulled up at a red light next to Ray Milland. He called out, "I'm doing a picture. Would you like to be in it?," and the actor said, "Sure." Wilder sent him the script. Three years later the two men would collaborate on The Lost Weekend, which would win Oscars for both of them.