Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bachelor Mother (1939) at TCMFF and My Thoughts


Seeing Bachelor Mother (1939) on the big screen has been a dream of mine for a long time and I'm so grateful to TCM for making that dream happen at their classic film festival. I cherished every moment of this experience and I'm so grateful to have seen my beloved film on the big screen in Hollywood.

Comedian Greg Proops introduced the film at the Chinese Multiplex. He was hilarious and had us all in stitches. TCM posted part of Proops presentation:





For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bachelor Mother (1939) let me summarize the plot for you. Ginger Rogers plays Polly Parrish. She’s a sales clerk in the toy department of Merlin & Son Department store. Christmas is approaching and the store lays off some of their temporary help, including Polly. Despondent, she goes out for a walk and sees an old lady leaving a baby at the door step of a foundling home. Polly picks up the baby and the foundling home staff mistake her for its mother. They track her down and convince the son of Merlin & Son, David Merlin (David Niven), to give her back her job. But to her surprise the much needed job also comes with the foundling baby. David and Polly develop an unlikely romance and hilarity ensues when other characters including John Merlin (Charles Coburn) and Freddie (Frank Albertson) get involved. It’s a sweet film with lots of hilarious and heart-warming moments. 

 I remember the first time I watched Bachelor Mother (1939) was years ago on a VHS tape. I had recorded a block of “Bachelor” themed films on TCM. The line-up included BachelorApartment (1931), The Bachelor Father (1931) and Bachelor Bait (1934) among others. While I enjoyed the other films in that line-up, I remember being particularly enamored with Bachelor Mother. It was the start of a love affair that would only grow over time with multiple repeat viewings. I re-recorded the film on another tape when I temporarily lost my original. Then Warner Archive came out with Bachelor Mother on DVD-MOD and I bought it the instant it went on sale. Ever since then I’ve watched this film many times (I estimate around 30-40 viewings) and would watch it at least twice before New Year’s.

You might not know this about me but when I was growing up my family did not celebrate any holidays. It was partly because my parents are from other countries and didn't understand American traditions and partly because of my mother's personal beliefs. As an adult holidays often confuse me and I don't tend to celebrate them with the exception of New Year's. It's the only holiday I can get my head around and thanks to Bachelor Mother it's become my favorite holiday. I love that it's one big celebration of living through the year and starting fresh with a new year right around the corner. It's basically everyone's birthday. New Year's is a time for us to reflect on the events of the past year and to make plans for the future. Bachelor Mother influenced me greatly in this respect. For Polly, New Year's Eve is a pivotal point in her life. The coming year will bring with it lots of new challenges but also great hope for love, family and overall happiness. 

Carlos and I celebrating 2013 and ringing in the New Year!
I also really love the New Year's Eve scenes in Bachelor Mother. David uses his influence to get Polly all dolled up so they can go out to a fancy dinner in Times Square and ring in the New Year. Their class differences are set aside and they come together to celebrate and have fun. My husband and I dress up every year for New Year's and I always strive to recreate the glamor and the fun of those scenes from the film (sans the fake Swedish. Svell!).

I'm very grateful that I got to share the experience of watching Bachelor Mother on the big screen with my husband Carlos. He knows how much this film means to me and he even waited in the standby line so he could get in to the screening. I'm so glad he did and that we could share this moment together.


Carlos and I at the Bachelor Mother screening (with Trevor photo bombing!)

4 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you got to see your favorite movie on the big screen :) It's been a while (too long!) since I saw Bachelor Mother so I definitely need to revisit it. I love the part where David Niven almost collapses from laughter in the doorway as he's leaving the New Year's Eve party.

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  2. What a touching post Raquel! I, too, love this film and I can only imagine how fantastic it looked on the big screen! Lucky you (and Carlos)!

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  3. I have a handful of movies that I always go to first when introducing friends to lesser known classics and BACHELOR MOTHER is one of them. It's so fun, snappy and sweet. You and Carlos look great in the New Year pic. I love that you two make the effort to get dolled up each New Year!

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  4. Such a cute movie - your affection for it is totally justified! I love the way Ginger Rogers says "Ha ha!" at the end.

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