May 6, 2022
For our RKO 1939 episode, a Directed by Garson Kanin double feature: Bachelor Mother, starring Ginger Rogers as an unwed department store clerk accused of motherhood; and The Great Man Votes, starring John Barrymore as an alcoholic intellectual struggling to raise two children, including the most precocious child actor of them all, Virginia Weidler (of Philadelphia Story fame). We discuss the "plausible deniability" structure of Bachelor Mother and the kind of social commentary it permits, and the particular brand of autobiographical pathos and dishevelled charm that Barrymore brings to the part of an eccentric, melancholy widower.
0h 01m 00s: BACHELOR MOTHER [dir. Garson Kanin]
1h 04m 48s: THE GREAT MAN VOTES [dir. Garson Kanin]
Studio Film Capsules provided by The RKO Story by Richard B. Jewell & Vernon Harbin
Additional studio information from: The Hollywood Story by Joel W. Finler
* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s
* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)
* Read Elise’s latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.
* Check out Dave’s new Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project!
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