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I don't know how anyone couldn't like this movie, as for me it's one of the most hilarious movies I've ever seen!!! I am a Billy Wilder aficionado, as you'd put it, and this is one of my very favorites!! Love his dramas, but oh boy his comedies!! So hilarious! And this is one of them. Billy Wilder's script are perfection. Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland are great actors, and they are ever so great in both drama AND comedy. As I understand, not everyone liked the movie or found it funny, so I wouldn't know if suggest it to you. But my personal opinion is this one.
I know that for some people region 1 DVDs are a problem, as they don't play in region 2 DVD player, as the ones we have in Europe. For me it's no problem, as I play DVDs with region 2 in the DVD player, and the DVDs region 1 on the computer, connecting the computer to the TV. But I know that for someone is. So, just to warn you, this IS a region 1 DVD, and it will play only on multi-region DVD players, or on computer.
Billy Wilder before he became a nasty old man, was a nasty youngish one. Ginger Rogers services older men with scalp massages; and if you cannot figure out how that was a way around censorship, you are not as smart and cute as you must be. The lead was prepared for Cary Grant, but Ray Milland did it and nailed his part.
This film has raised a few eyebrows over the years, since the subject matter is of a grown man falling in love with a woman pretending to be a twelve year old girl. However, upon viewing, you will discover that this comedy presents the material in such an innocent way, you simply have to suspend disbelief and enjoy the complications that ensue. Ginger Rogers is the woman/girl who pretends to be the child to get the child's fare on the train since she is short on cash, and Ray Milland is the officer she meets on the train who takes care of her. She ends up at the military school where he works, and she causes quite a sensation amongst the young cadets. But more than that, she stirs up things in the relationship between Milland and his fiancee. Rogers does as well as anyone could playing a twelve year old in pigtails, making it almost believable that she could fool everyone. She's a lot of fun and well matched by Milland. Diana Lynn is terrific as Milland's fiancee's young sister, the only one who sees through Rogers' masquerade. There's a number of really funny moments, such as Rogers fending off the juvenile advances of the young cadets, and the hair "epidemic" of the girls at the dance (I don't want to give the funny visual away). Billy Wilder's clever dialogue is a treat to listen to (as usual) and deceptively adult. If you accept the premise of the film at face value, you'll find a number of laugh-out-loud moments and endearing characters in this comedy that is one of my favourites from the early Forties.
This is a cute classic romantic comedy with a solid script and great actors playing the various characters contained therein. As other reviewers have noted, you have to be able to put aside the notion that the "girl" Ginger Rogers portrays manages to pull the wool over almost everyone's eyes in the movie with respect to her age. If you can do that then you will have a treat watching this film.
I bought this movie based upon the reviews I had read and was not disappointed this time around. This is a keeper.
All the ingredients that go into making an enjoyable movie were present at the time of filming: good plot, sharp dialogue, solid directing, fine acting, and all the rest. The result is a movie that is both funny and amusing, while being almost "naughty" at times but still staying on safe ground. Ginger Roger and Ray Milland were performers who consistently pleased their audiences. This movie is part of the proof. Check it out.