Today’s pick, The Major and the Minor was only director Billy Wilder’s second Hollywood directorial credit and yet you can see in it some of the trademarks that he would constantly employ as a filmmaker – the combination of witty dialogue, farce and romantic entanglements.
A young woman tired of life in the big city decides to head back home to the Midwest. The problem is that the fare for the return trip has gone up so the last money she has is not enough for the train passage. Her solution is to disguise herself as a little girl, aged 12. Her presence draws the attention of military officer (Ray Milland), who agrees to chaperone the ‘minor’ safely to her mother in Iowa, under the condition that they first make a detour to a military academy where he works.
Yes, I know – it is TOTALLY unbelievable that Ginger Rogers could pass for a 12 year old, but that is the whole gag after all. In spite of this flight of fancy, I still enjoyed the film mainly because of the silliness of it all. It is also not hurt by the presence of notorious humorist Robert Benchley.
Besides I received a bit of a history lesson in that I learned all about the Maginot Line
In the final analysis, this is yet another one of those classic Hollywood films that I cannot help but watch whenever I see it on my television screen.
Check out other titles on Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom.