Billy Wilder Bosley Crowther - Essay

Bosley Crowther

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Nobody thinks much of it when little girls use mama's clothes to play dress-up. But when a full-grown young lady dons a kid's clothes to play a little girl, it makes a delightful idea for a very cunning film. At least, it has in the case of … "The Major and the Minor." (p. 1889)

"The Major and the Minor" is really just a cute twist on the mistaken-identity gag….

But it takes more than a twist to make a picture, and that's where the Messrs. Wilder and Brackett have come in—by writing a script which effervesces with neat situations and bright lines…. [There] comes a time when certain facts must be imparted to young girls. The opportunity the authors have provided [Major Kirby] to convey this knowledge, via moths, is one of the priceless moments in the film. The gentlemen have written—and Mr. Wilder has directed—a bountiful comedy-romance. (p. 1890)

Bosley Crowther, "'The Major and the Minor,' a Charming Comedy-Romance, with Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland, at the Paramount," in The New York Times (© 1942 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), September 17, 1942 (and reprinted in The New York Times Film Reviews: 1939–1948, The New York Times Company & Arno Press, 1970, pp. 1889-90).