The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (released as Bachelor Knight in the United Kingdom[4]) is a 1947 American comedy film directed by Irving Reis and written by Sidney Sheldon. The film stars Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple in a story about a teenager's crush on an older man.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
Theatrical release poster
Directed byIrving Reis
Screenplay bySidney Sheldon
Produced byDore Schary
StarringCary Grant
Myrna Loy
Shirley Temple
CinematographyNicholas Musuraca
Robert De Grasse
Edited byFrederic Knudtson
Music byLeigh Harline
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • July 24, 1947 (1947-07-24) (Premiere-NYC)[1]
  • September 1, 1947 (1947-09-01) (USA)[1]
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4.5 million (US/Canada rentals)[2]or $5,550,000[3]

Upon its release, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer was well received by both audiences and critics. Sidney Sheldon won an Oscar for his screenplay.


Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy) and Susan Turner (Shirley Temple) are sisters who live together. Susan is an intelligent 17-year-old high-school student with a habit of forming short-lived interests after hearing the regular guest lectures at the school. Margaret is a judge, and Susan's guardian.

Richard Nugent (Cary Grant), a handsome and sophisticated artist, is a defendant in Margaret's courtroom, charged by ADA Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee) with starting a nightclub brawl. She releases him with a warning when it becomes clear that the fight was started by two women fighting over him.

He proceeds to Susan's school, where he is the guest lecturer for the day—and as he speaks, Susan becomes infatuated with him. After the talk she finds a reason to spend time with him and suggests she model for him; that evening, she puts on a sophisticated dress and sneaks away from home and into his apartment while he is out.

Richard has no sooner discovered Susan in his apartment than Tommy and Margaret arrive to rescue her from his presumed seduction. Richard assaults Tommy and is held in jail until Matt Beemish (Ray Collins), who is the court psychiatrist and also Margaret and Susan's uncle, intervenes and explains the true situation. He recommends allowing Susan to date Richard until the infatuation burns itself out; Tommy will drop the assault charge if Richard complies.

At a high-school basketball game, Richard tries unsuccessfully to boost Susan's image of Jerry White (Johnny Sands), the boyfriend she dumped for him. Later, at a school picnic, Susan persuades Richard to enter a series of novelty races (open to adult family members), where he loses repeatedly to Tommy. But in the main event, an obstacle course, she asks Jerry to help Richard win. Because he still loves her, Jerry complies, helping him directly at one point, then colliding with Tommy so that Richard does win the event.

Meanwhile, Richard and Margaret are becoming attracted to each other, to the discomfiture of Tommy, who sees Richard as a habitual troublemaker and wants Margaret for himself. Hoping Richard will stop seeing Margaret if he no longer has to date Susan, Tommy announces he is dropping the charge. But Richard and Margaret go out to a nightclub, where they are interrupted in succession by all the other main characters as well as a former girlfriend of Richard's. They all part angrily.

Afterwards, though, Matt is able to talk sense into Susan, and she returns to Jerry. Matt finds out that Richard has decided to take a trip and is able to manipulate affairs so that Margaret will travel with him. Learning that Tommy is coming to arrest Richard on trumped-up charges, Matt forestalls him by telling police at the airport that Tommy is a mental patient with delusions of being an ADA. Richard and Margaret are happily surprised to meet each other as they approach the plane to board.


Tobin and Grant in a scene from The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer


The New York Times thought the film "most agreeable" with high praise for the four principal performers, the direction and screenplay.[5]

The film's screenplay won an Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay) for Sidney Sheldon, who went on to create I Dream of Jeannie, Hart to Hart, and, as a novelist, Master of the Game (1982), The Other Side of Midnight (1973), and Rage of Angels (1980).

The film made a profit of $700,000.[6]

Home mediaEdit

In 2009, the film was available on videocassette and DVD.

Radio adaptationEdit

It was dramatized as a half-hour radio play on the May 10, 1948 broadcast of The Screen Guild Theater with Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple. It was also dramatized as a Lux Radio Theater adaptation starring Cary Grant and Shirley Temple that aired on June 13, 1949.

In popular cultureEdit

David Bowie's song "Magic Dance", which appears in the 1986 film Labyrinth, includes lyrics that refer to Cary Grant and Shirley Temple's call and reply dialogue heard in the film: "You remind me of a man." "What man?" "The man with the power." "What power?" "The power of hoodoo." "Who do?" "You do!". In "Magic Dance", "man" is replaced with "babe" and "hoodoo" with "voodoo".[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  2. ^ "All-Time Top Grosses". Variety. January 4, 1961. p. 49. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p221
  4. ^ IMDb: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer - Also Known As Linked 2014-02-23
  5. ^ Crowther, Bosley (July 25, 1947), "'The Bachelor and Bobby-Soxer' at the Music Hall", The New York Times, archived from the original on July 11, 2012, retrieved 2009-10-15
  6. ^ Richard B. Jewell, Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures, Uni of California, 2016
  7. ^ Block, Paula; Erdmann, Terry (2016). Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History. Insight Editions. pp. 166–167. ISBN 978-1-60887-810-9.

External linksEdit