Too Young To Kiss – 1951

Sometimes a movie’s premise blurs the line between “Ewww” and “Awww”…this movie somehow manages to walk that line without crossing into a really weird space:

Too Young to Kiss – starring Van Johnson and June Allyson.

This 1951 MGM film probably couldn’t be made today, but in 1951 it worked (I think).  Van Johnson stars as Eric Wainwright, a talent agent who is constantly confronted by wanna-be concert instrumentalists.  One such artist is Cynthia Potter (Allyson), a phenomenal pianist who cannot catch a break.

Hearing that Wainwright is on the lookout for child musicians, Cynthia poses as a 14 year-old and pretends to be her own sister.  Thinking he has found a child prodigy, Wainwright quickly tries to move Cynthia into the spotlight.  Along the way Cynthia’s childish, yet too-adult, behavior perplexes Wainwright and…surprise surprise…the two begin to have feelings for each other.

The movie manages to stay away from the creep-factor, in that we really only see Cynthia’s feelings develop, and Wainwright remains almost parental until Cynthia’s big reveal.

I have to admit, I really love this movie.  In part, I’m sure, to my undying love for Van Johnson.  Something about that tall red-headed man is just so darn appealing.  Infatuation aside, the dialogue between the primary characters is very funny, and the actors make this far-fetched story work.


Many Rivers To Cross – 1955


I love great character names…Holly Golightly, Trip Fontaine, Rooster Cogburn, Lloyd Dobler…but my favorite character name of all time happens to come from one of my favorite movies:

Many Rivers To Cross – starring Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker

This 1955 MGM film stars Robert Taylor as, are you ready, Bushrod Gentry (great name, right?) and Eleanor Parker as his devoted admirer, Mary Stuart Cherne.

This underrated western-comedy is pure enjoyment, mainly due to the banter between Parker and Taylor.

Bushrod Gentry (Taylor) is a somewhat famous frontiersman who is devoted to his freewheeling life as a fur trapper.  His pioneer playboy lifestyle is going along fairly well until he meets Mary Stuart Cherne (Parker), an almost-spinster who sets her desperate and determined cap for Bushrod.  Mary is bound to have her way and traps Bushrod into a marriage that he immediately tries to escape.

Not to be outdone, Mary pursues Bushrod through the wilds of the American West, foiling Indians and fighting for the love of her reluctant bridegroom.

This western is more comedy than action, but 100% enjoyment.  There is also a great chance you will find yourself singing Bushrod’s song about the “Berry Tree” for days and days.


*Scenes to watch for: Bushrod’s early attempts at avoiding matrimony

Bachelor Mother – 1939

Picking the very first film to write about is difficult.  I have thousands of movies at my disposal, so what’s a girl to do? Do I pick a well-known classic?  Do I go with my favorite movie of all time?  Do I try to find something obscure so I can seem hip and offbeat?  I’ll take the fourth option, and go with a movie that is saved on my DVR and has played on my television several times over the past month:

Bachelor Mother starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven.

This 1939 RKO gem is charming.  The actors are charming, the script is charming…even the little apartment Ginger Rogers’ character lives in is charming.  It tells the story of Polly Parrish (Rogers) and David Merlin (Niven) an employee-employer who find themselves thrown together after a case of mistaken maternity.

David Niven as the wealthy and slightly stiff Merlin, is handsome and hilarious as he tries to turn the reluctant Polly into a model mother.

Ginger Rogers as the accidental mother, Polly, is witty and bright as she tries to sort out the unexpected turn her life has taken.

This is not a song and dance movie (though there is a 1950’s musical remake, Bundle of Joy, starring Debbie Reynolds), but the filmmakers take the opportunity to showcase a little of Ginger’s famous abilities.  This film is quite simply the type of fun and funny romp that makes a girl like me long for a time where ladies wore stockings and men always had linen handkerchiefs on hand.

*Scene to watch for: Merlin and the how-to-guide for babies