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Bachelor Bait

Bachelor Bait(1934)

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teaser Bachelor Bait (1934)

In the light romantic comedy Bachelor Bait (1934), meek marriage license bureau employee William Watts (Stuart Erwin) is unfairly fired and decides to go into business for himself. Having an uncanny knack for matchmaking, Watts establishes Romance, Inc., a company dedicated to finding wives for eligible bachelors. When the business proves to be a huge success, the nave Watts must fend off a takeover instigated by a crooked District Attorney. Meanwhile, Watts tries to marry off his attractive secretary Cynthia (Rochelle Hudson) to a bashful Oklahoma millionaire, oblivious to the fact that she is really in love with him.

Bachelor Bait came very early in the career of Oscar®-winning director George Stevens (A Place in the Sun [1951], Giant [1956]). Stevens had recently joined the RKO family following a promising start at Universal where he had directed several shorts as well as his first feature film called The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble (1933).

Stevens started out at RKO directing comic shorts, but his contract there promised him that he would get the chance to make at least one feature film. After being loaned out to MGM to direct a Laurel and Hardy segment in the 1934 revue Hollywood Party, Stevens finally got his chance when RKO assigned him to direct the feature Bachelor Bait.

Stevens handled the breezy comedy of Bachelor Bait with ease, and the film was well-received. Its success helped Stevens hone his directing skills and prime him for the long list of distinguished films that followed.

Bachelor Bait features some charming performances and entertaining comic situations that remind audiences of how little has changed over the years in the matchmaking business. Richard "Skeets" Gallagher and Pert Kelton are hilarious as Watts' scene-stealing business partner and his brassy ex-wife.

Director: George Stevens
Screenplay: Glenn Tryon; Edward Halperin, Victor Halperin (story)
Cinematography: David Abel
Art Direction: Carroll Clark, Van Nest Polglase
Film Editing: James B. Morley
Cast: Stuart Erwin (Mr. William Watts), Rochelle Hudson (Cynthia Douglas), Pert Kelton (Allie Summers), Skeets Gallagher (Bramwell Van Dusen, a Lawyer), Burton Churchill ('Big' Barney Nolan), Grady Sutton (Don Belden/Diker), Clarence H. Wilson (District Attorney Clement Graftsman).

by Andrea Passafiume

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