Happy centenary, Ginger!

Today marks the 100th birthday of the fabulous Ginger Rogers! I have to admit, I’m somewhat surprised that TCM is not marking the occasion with a day of Ginger-centric films—after all, there’s no dearth of great movies from Ginger’s extensive filmography. She could do it all: melodrama (1940’s Kitty Foyle), romance (1945’s Weekend at the Waldorf), physical comedy (1952’s Monkey Business) … the list goes on and on. And while I love (most of) Ginger’s pairings with Fred Astaire, for which she is perhaps best-known, I have always felt like the actress was a somewhat underrated comedienne, and therein lies her great appeal for me as a film fan.

So I will spend this evening watching three of my comedic favorites: The Major and the Minor (1942), Stage Door (1937), and Bachelor Mother (1939), all of which I’ve reviewed here on True Classics in the past. Admittedly, I’ve seen all three of these movies more times than I can count, to the point where I have most of the dialogue memorized. But every time I see these movies, and watch Ginger play an overly hormonal Swedish teenager, spar with Katharine Hepburn, or teach David Niven how to feed a baby, I laugh like it’s the very first time … the mark of a truly classic actress.

What are your favorite Ginger Rogers films, and why?

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9 thoughts on “Happy centenary, Ginger!

  1. I personally loved her in Gold Diggers of 1933! Of course, her films with Fred Astaire were fantastic! But that’s a-given.

    But anyway…

    Anyhow…hello! My name is Nathanael Hood from Forgotten Classics of Yesteryear!

    I just want to invite you to my blog’s blogathon. It will be taking place in about three weeks. The topic is MONSTER MOVIES FROM THE 50S!!!

    I know that your blog likes to focus on movie stars…this could be a great opportunity to explore the works of Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, or Bela Legosi!

    I would love it if you would participate! Send me an email at nahood@ursinus.edu.

    Here are a couple of links to more information:

    http://forgottenclassicsofyesteryear.blogspot.com/2011/06/next-blogathon-monster-movie-mania.html

    http://forgottenclassicsofyesteryear.blogspot.com/2011/07/blogathon-update.html

    • Thanks for stopping by, Nathanael! Page from My Love for Old Hollywood mentioned your Monster Movie blogathon last month. It’s not my favorite genre, but I’ll take a look at some of the movies from that era and see if there’s something I can whip up.

      Speaking of blogathons, I received an email forwarded from Rick at the CMBA indicating you were interested in participating in our “Loving Lucy” blogathon on August 6th–are you still in for that?

  2. Absolutely Bachelor Mother. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

    David Merlin: So how do you like her?
    Louise King: Pretty good for a fill-in. I’d just as soon go stag.
    Polly: You could, too, with those shoulders.

    Kills me every time.

  3. I saw the Major and the Minor for the first time on TV as an afternoon movie in the early 50s, when I stayed home sick from the 4th grade. At the time, it struck me as very romantic. 12-year-olds were practically adults anyway, or so it seemed to me.

    I watched the film again a month ago. 60 years later, I found myself scratching my head a little, but I still liked it.

  4. Three great choices, Brandie! My fave of the trio is probably THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR. While I’m not a big fan of her serious drama, GInger was a fabulous (and underrated) comedianne. She held her own against scene stealers such as Edward Everett Horton. And she was a master at light comedy in films such as LUCKY PARTNERS.

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