The Major And The Minor

The Major and the Minor
(1942)

Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring Ginger Rogers

Rating: ******
              6/6

When we sit down to watch a movie,
We use Suspension of Disbelief.
That means that to follow the story,
We’ll trust things that would make us feel disbelief.

In the world of movie magic,
Things don’t always have to make sense.
We see talking apes, and alien birds,
Complex robots bordering on the absurd,
But it is a good director who is able to make
His audience believe, despite what’s at stake.
Good director or not, the funniest plots
Use silly premises more often than not—
Situations that would not quite
Work at all in real life.

In the story of the Major and the Minor,
Twenty-something Ginger Rogers acts as if she’s a minor.
If this sounds absurd, they recast her part
With a younger Jerry Lewis, giving him a fresh start,
And in both films, you’ll see, if you happen to delve,
Both adult characters pretend to be twelve.
But enough on the remake. Let us start with the first.
It’s frightfully good if for humour you thirst.

A young Ginger Rogers has just quit her job
In the city she moved to to get a nice job.
In her effort to find success,
She ended up broke and penniless.
Wisely, she held onto just enough fare
To travel back to her parent’s lair.
She’s aghast, however, to find
That the price has risen since she had arrived.
Now, feeling desperate, and short on change,
She hits upon the idea for a change.
It seems that the ticket price for kids twelve and under
Is low enough to save her from her blunder,
So she decides that a little humiliation
Will get her through her tough situation.
First she alters her clothing some,
And then she proceeds to act very young.
Though people are skeptical, she bluffs her way through.
From her desperation, came the confidence to continue.

Now she’s on a commuter train,
And she thinks she’ll be going home again,
But it’s not long before the conductor gets wise,
And begins to see through her disguise.
This forces our embarrassed heroine
To run and hide so she’ll be unseen.
She hides in somebody else’s car,
And the man who finds her is her co-star.
She sees his strikingly handsome grin,
But is forced to keep up this charade for him.
He takes pity on her and lets her stay,
But they’re caught together that fateful day.
His boss and his fiancée meet his train,
And it’s immediately demanded that he explain.
So he does, and they’re fooled as well,
And his boss has an idea that’s clear as a bell.

Since they’re on their way to a school for girls,
Why not take her along, because she’s a girl?
They all think it’s splendid, except Ginger Rogers,
Who has no real choice but to go with the others.
So they take her to the school and she gets a roommate
Who instantly tells her that she’s a fake.
Ginger is blushing and begins to leave,
But her new roommate tells her that there’s no need.
She doesn’t care, and she’s not going to tell,
So if she continues to stay there all will be well…

…And I think I’ll end the spoilers right there,
Though my readers might feel that I’m not being fair,
Since with other films I’ve gone to considerable lengths
To relate the plot’s weaknesses and its strengths,
Along with many of its major points spilled.
This is how some of my reviews are filled.
But in this care, a lot of great fun, there’s no doubt about it,
Might be ruined by reading too much about it.

Some stories need to unfold by themselves
And you’ll see the characters make fools of themselves,
And experience the plot twists and turns till you’ve cried,
And in time determine whether or not I just lied.
Even when I do reveal a lot of story,
Remember that it’s only a summary of a story,
One that‘s brief and will contain errors sometimes,
If only for the reason that the next line rhymes.
If a review piques your interest, I implore you to seek
Out the movie I wrote about and give it a peek,
And determine if what I wrote on the page
Holds up at all in this day and age.

I think that this movie is exceedingly fun,
And for such daring subject matter, tastefully done.
I’m giving this movie a perfect score,
Because I think it deserves a four out of four.

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