Saturday, December 29, 2007

For Auld Lang Syne

New Year's means two things to me (movie-wise). The Marx Bros. and Ginger Rogers in Bachelor Mother (1939).

The ritual of watching The Marx Bros. movies around New Years started a couple of years ago with a Marx Bros. marathon on TCM (I'm convinced TCM is less a channel and more a lifestyle). I had so much fun, counting down the hours to a brand New Year, by watching the hilarious antics of Groucho, Harpo and Chico (sometimes Zeppo). Duck Soup (1933), A Day at the Races (1937), Horse Feathers (1932), just to name a few. All of the films made during Thalberg's lifetime of course. Irving Thalberg was a big supporter of the Marx Bros, and films made after Thalberg's death in 1936, lack the luster of the great originals.

I have yet to see the Holy Grail of the Marx Bros. movies, A Night at the Opera (1935), and saved that for this New Years. Fingers-crossed, I'll get to watch that in a real-life theatre, on a big screen on New Year's day. What better way to ring in the New Year with the hilarious romps of those silly brothers!

Bachelor Mother (1939) is a personal pleasure of mine. Ginger Rogers plays a young, independent women who loses her job at the toy deparment of a major department store. She stumbles upon an old lady leaving a baby on the steps of a foundling home, only to be confused later as the mother of the baby. She cannot convince anyone that the baby is not hers, especially David Niven, who plays one of the head of the department store, who gives her, her job back and consquently falls for her and the baby.

Its a wonderful movie. There is one particular scene when Niven asks Rogers out for New Years (as a last minute option) and she hasn't a thing to wear. He gets a brand new dress, scarf, shoes, stockings and even a mink coat from the store for her. They go out to a fancy dinner and she pretends to be Swedish so she won't have to talk to his society friends. He can't get a moment with her because all of his friends whisk her away to the dance floor. He finally wrangles her out of the restaurant they go out to Times Square to ring in the New Year. They get lost in the chaotic arms only to find each other at the moment the clock strucks midnight and they kiss. It's just a wonderful wonderful part of a spectacular movie. It epitomizes New Years. Going out, living it up and having a ball so that you can start a new year afresh!

Happy New Years to you and yours!


  1. Unless the department store Niven's character worked for had extremely good connections -- or a time machine -- there's no way he could have gotten Ginger's character nylons. "Bachelor Mother" is a 1939 film, and nylon stockings weren't introduced until the spring of 1940. Poor old Ginger's lovely legs had to settle for mere silk stockings.

  2. Too bad David Niven didn't have a time machine. That would have added an interesting twist to the plot.

    "Nylons" have been changed to "stockings". If you find any errors like that, please e-mail me rather than posting. My e-mail is listed in the side bar.

    Have a great New Year!!



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