Bachelor Mother 1939
Every December 31st, when the clock strikes midnight, I wish everyone a “Appy Noo Year?” in broken English. Of course, nobody really gets it, and I’m okay with it just being an inside joke between Ginger Rogers and myself. But if you want to be a part of my joke too, then you should probably watch Bachelor Mother! Of course, there are many other reasons you should seek out this classic- Ginger Roger’s charming wit and delightful dancing, David Niven’s adorably besotted character, a fun plot that has aged well, and of course the 1930s fashion. This one is a favorite of mine, and watching it is a bit of a New Year tradition that I’m willing to share with you!
Polly Parrish (Ginger Rogers) has just been laid off from her holiday job at Merlin’s department store, and on her way home sees an elderly lady leaving a baby at the stoop of an orphanage. Worried for the baby’s safety, she rushes to his aid- just in time for the orphanage workers to see her and assume she is the mother. Nobody believes Polly when she explains that she is not the mother, so the orphanage workers seek out her former employer to hire back Miss Parrish, believing her job loss to be the reason why she would abandon her child. After her job is restored, the well-meaning people from the orphanage return the baby to Polly’s apartment, infuriating her with their refusals to believe her story. So since she believes the Merlins’ meddling to be at fault for her situation, she drops the baby off at their mansion and heads out for a night of dancing.
The young Mr. David Merlin (David Niven) is infuriated at Miss Parish’s apathy for her son’s well-being, and confronts her about it. He threatens to take away her job if she won’t keep the baby. So Polly gives up and decides to just go along with what everyone thinks to be true. Besides, she’s become rather fond of the little guy.
Mr. Merlin continues taking an interest in Polly’s situation, reading books about baby care and stopping by with toys for the little boy. He becomes so preoccupied that he forgot to make plans with his New Year’s Eve date, so he asks Polly if she’d like to go to a party with him. Of course, they realize that they are slowly falling in love, but things become urgent as soon as the older Mr. Merlin believes Polly’s baby to belong to his son David, and threatens to take him away. In a comedy of errors, David and Polly argue and separately try to remedy the problem, and all the while Polly has become the mother she always refused that she was.