Film Review of The Bachelor and The Bobby-Soxer: Shirley Temple in 1947 Comedy With Cary Grant

by DerdriuMarriner

In "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," a basketball player loves an orphan, an orphan loves a playboy, and the playboy loves a judge.

A teenager develops a crush on an older man. Her ex-boyfriend ends up becoming best friends with the playboy.

Who will end up with whom when the playboy and the orphan’s older sister start liking each other in “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer”?

Debonair Cary Grant made only one film, "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," with Shirley Temple. The popular comedy segued into two radio adaptations:
• May 10, 1948 broadcast on "The Screen Guild Theater," reuniting the trio of Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple; and
• June 13, 1949 broadcast on "Lux Radio Theatre," with Cary and Shirley.

A retrospective showing of only comedy in which Cary Grant and Shirley Temple co-starred.

Synergy Detroit Feb. 12, 2008; Detroit Historical Museum, midtown Detroit, southeastern Michigan
Synergy Detroit Feb. 12, 2008; Detroit Historical Museum, midtown Detroit, southeastern Michigan


Love brings together The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer by writer Sidney Sheldon, producer Dore Schary, and director Irving Reis. Robert DeGrasse and Nicholas Musuraca; Frederic Knudtson; and Leigh Harline handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California's:

  • Beverly Hills High School;

  • Long Beach Airport.

The 95-minute film was distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. It was NYC-premiered and USA-released on July 24 and September 1, 1947. It won the 20th Academy Awards' Best Original Screenplay on March 20, 1948.

The movie begins with Bessie (Lillian Randolph) awakening Susan (Shirley Temple) and Margaret (Myrna Loy) Turner around 8 a.m. Bessie chides Margaret's sentencing to 3, not 10, years, an old man corrupting a 16-year-old. Susan emotes over geometry teachers Mittwick (Charles Halton) and Roberts (Charles Marsh).

At 9 a.m. Margaret hears defense witness/singer Agnes Prescott (Veda Ann Borg). Painter Richard Nugent(Cary Grant) is charged with slapping bouncer Anthony Herman (William Hall) for slapping model Florence (Carol Hughes). Margaret warns Dickie about this Vampire Club disturbance #3.

Dickie guest-lectures at Sunset High School. Susan introduces herself as:

  • An orphan who dislikes following in guardian/judge/sister Margaret's footsteps;

  • School newspaper editor-in-chief.

Dickie, son of a flag decorator and piano teacher who married three days after meeting, invents:

  • Parental suicides;

  • Orphanages;

  • Reformatories.

Susan breaks her 7:15 p.m. date with beau/basketballer #7 Jerry White (Johnny Sands). She claims to the concierge to be Dickie's 17-year-old model. Dickie finds Susan dozing on the sofa. Margaret and beau/Assistant District Attorney Tommy Chamberlain (Rudy Vallee) have Dickie jailed.

Dickie confers with attorney/friend Chester Walters (Dan Tobin). Court-appointed psychiatrist Matt Beemish(Ray Collins) interviews Dickie. He persuades Judge Treadwell (Ransom Sherman), niece Margaret, and Tommy to drop charges if Dickie dates Susan.

Dickie accompanies Susan to:

  • A Sunset-Peebe High School basketball game;

  • A soda parlor;

  • Tommy's six-year-old niece's birthday party.

Races are held. Tommy wins all but one. Dickie wins the obstacle race through Jerry's and Susan's sabotage and $4.50 in $0.75-cent bribes.

Dickie accepts Margaret's invitation to the Tick Tock Club. Dancing and dining are darkened by accusations of:

  • Birthday-bashing per Agnes and beau Joey (Don Beddoe);

  • Boyfriend-stealing per Susan;

  • Immorality per Tommy;

  • Indifference to draft notification, per Jerry.

Matt gets Jerry and Susan reconciled even though reconciliation endangers his queen with chess-playing brother/Judge Thaddeus (Harry Davenport).

The movie ends with Matt:

  • Having security remove Tommy as delusionally mental;

  • Obstructing bench warrants against Dickie;

  • Uniting Dickie and Margaret, who board TWA's Constellation Super Sky Chief flight 60 round-robining “Hey, you remind me of a man...!”


The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer ~ Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in famous "You remind me of a man" routine

Uploaded to YouTube on February 6, 2007 by Daniel Paikov ~ URL:



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Image Credits


Synergy Detroit Feb. 12, 2008; Detroit Historical Museum, midtown Detroit, southeastern Michigan: Dave Hogg, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr @

Daniel Paikov. "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer." YouTube, Feb. 6, 2007, @


the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Shirley Temple in dressing room doorway, "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer"


Shirley Temple Black's autobiography

Child Star: An Autobiography

The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer, Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, 1947

The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer, Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, 1947

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 04/04/2024, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 02/17/2014

Abby, That "You remind me of a man" routine has been one of my favorites since childhood. "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" is filled with comedic charm and energy.
Me, too: I just love Shirley Temple, too.

AbbyFitz on 02/16/2014

This is one of my favorites too. I just love Shirley temple I guess lol

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