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The Major and The Minor, 1942


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This is one of my favorite films, hence my screen moniker, Sue Sue Applegate. In the movie, however, the character's name is spelled "SU-SU." One day in the 70's, I was watching the afternoon feature in Houston, Texas, and my life was changed.


I had always been a mimic ( doing impressions of my friends, relatives, cartoon characters, and movie stars), but I had kept much of my repertoire to myself , my immediate family, and a few close friends. After I saw that movie, I was able to embrace my inner impressionist.


Here was Ginger Rogers, a famous movie star, and she could do impressions of her mother, a twelve-year-old, Rita Johnson, and several other characters within the framework of her character, Susan Applegate from Stevenson, Iowa. I felt that since Ginger could succeed so well with her ability to mimic, I might as well embrace my "gifts" as well.


Since that afternoon when my mother encouraged me to watch that movie, I was able to delve into my vast internal landscape of archived silliness and make as much merriment as I dared. So not only do I enjoy viewing this movie, but I also relished the liberation it bestowed upon a gawky teenager with big feet and even bigger fears of exposure.


In my family, once it was known that you had any talent at anything, you were required to perform for family gatherings, in doctor's offices, on an airplane, under an umbrella waiting in line for a movie, and anywhere my mother or father decided to exploit my "talents."


Anyone else have fond memories of Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson, and Diana Lynn in "The Major and The Minor?"



Sue 2

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wonderful post SueSue. Ya know, in addition to your self-acclaimed talents for mimicry, you also have a talent for fun writing. I was chuckling after three paragraphs and laughing out loud at the rest that followed. Good stuff. I just saw this movie the other night for the first time in about twenty-five years. That might make me sound old, but I thought about it awhile, and it has indeed been about that long. I usta catch old movies on the late show when I was a kid, and somehow the Ginger Rogers films I saw had the most lasting impression on me too. In fact, the first 'old' black and white movie I ever saw was "Chance At Heaven" and from this film, I got my first boyhood crush acquiesce with falling in love with the actress. And Ginger was that actress. In the film, Ginger plays a regular

small-town girl called "Mug" and is in love with girl-dumb Joel McCrea, the local gas-n-oil boy without the gumption needed to tell a girl the things she wants to hear. Praising her homemade chicken-pie recipe is about the extent of his romantic expression. His torrid comeuppance with another woman, results in his coming home to all the chicken-pie he could ever want with Ginger announcing that the lipstick leftover on his face "isn't your shade at all" ... But I was totally charmed and never forgot it and realized from that moment that movies made in my grandmothers time were never again something to be overlooked ...


Another one I remember was "Tom Dick and Harry" which featured kisses from Burgess Meredith that triggered church bells in Ginger's star-crossed head ... Another cute movie ...


"The Major and The Minor" was a lot of fun to see again. Ginger is, as she always is, equal to the task. It was interesting when she met a real teen-girl (Diana Lynn) because suddenly she's exposed. Young Miss Lynn is great in this film playing the adolescent chemistry geek, who, while staying on a military schoolbase full of youthful cadets, seems to have no boyfriend of her own. But she can instantly see straight thru SuSu's front and doesn't back down. Yup, SuSu meets her match at half her age ... That was a great scene ...


Robert Benchley has quickly become a favorite. His brand of lukewarm domestic satire always adds flavor to a good screwball comedy. Ray Milland was especially good-looking in those days and an excellent leading man. Opposite Jean Arthur in "Easy Living" might be my favorite performance ...


Some of the most beautiful hollywood actresses were gawky teenagers with big feet ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Precoder, Thank you so much for this insightful response, and I'm happy you had a chuckle

at my expense. I enjoyed *Tom, Dick, and Harry* (I'm a Burgess Meredith fan, too!)

but I don't think I've ever seen *Chance at Heaven* in its entirety. I need to try and revisit

that one.


For me, the films of my mother and father's generation are an insight into their past

and the entertainment industry during their years of catering to the "Greatest Generation"

has many gems to discover. I'm still finding movies I had never seen and uncovering

uncut diamonds in the vaults of major and minor studies. (Pun intended!)


As for Ginger, she was a triple threat: she could act, sing and dance. What a fun date

she should have been!


*THe Major and The Minor* is a real charmer, and Ray Milland, after seeing many of his other

roles, is at his sweetest and most charming. Billy Wilder kept this film tight, centered,

avoided the sugary oversentimentality and obvious negative insinuendos while creating

a film that inspired war-bond buying, and enlistment when we really needed to defeat

the evil Axis and involve ourselves at the business at hand.


And those reasons made me open up a thread in the other forum concerning a countdown

to the film's showing.


Love your handle! I enjoy many precodes! :)

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