Father Is a Bachelor

Father Is a Bachelor is a 1950 American comedy family romance film directed by Abby Berlin and Norman Foster and starring William Holden and Coleen Gray.

Father Is a Bachelor
Directed byAbby Berlin
Norman Foster
Produced byS. Sylvan Simon
Screenplay byAleen Leslie
James Edward Grant
Story byJames Edward Grant
StarringWilliam Holden
Coleen Gray
Music byArthur Morton
CinematographyBurnett Guffey
Edited byJerome Thoms
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 22, 1950 (1950-02-22)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States


Carefree vagabond Johnny Rutledge (William Holden) is stuck in a small town when his medicine show employer and friend Professor Mordecai Ford (Charles Winninger) is put in jail. He befriends a young girl named May Chalotte (Mary Jane Saunders). She and her brothers January (Gary Gray), February (Billy Gray) and twins March (Warren Farlow) and April (Wayne A. Farlow) are orphans. However, fearful of being separated, they have not told anybody. Johnny finds himself being "adopted" as their uncle. Johnny starts working hard to support his new family, working on a farm during the week and singing and waiting tables on Sunday in a restaurant owned by Jericho Schlosser (Sig Ruman).

Johnny makes the acquaintance of lovely heiress Prudence Millett (Coleen Gray) when she comes to inquire why the children are not in school. A romance begins to blossom, despite Johnny's determination to remain free of entanglements.

When wealthy, unloved Jeffrey Gilland Sr. (Frederic Tozere) orders Johnny to keep his disreputable children away from his son Jeffrey Jr. (Tommy Ivo), Johnny scuffles with him and gets arrested. He is bailed out by Prudence, but his troubles are not over. Plato Cassin (Clinton Sundberg) finds out about the children's parents and blackmails Johnny into agreeing to marry one of his older, spinster sisters, Genevieve (Peggy Converse) or Adelaide (Lillian Bronson), in order to keep the kids. (Adelaide wins a ring toss game for the privilege.) Plato also convinces Prudence that Johnny was using the children to romance her.

After thinking it over, Johnny decides to run away with Professor Ford. May overhears and invites people to her birthday party, intending it to be a going-away party for Johnny. Meanwhile, Johnny dissuades Gilland's young son from running away. At the party, a grateful Gilland drops his charges against Johnny.

Prudence shows up, having seen how far Johnny is willing to go for the children, suggests he marry her instead. Johnny tells Adelaide that he loves Prudence. Adelaide proves to be a sport and the two women decide to flip a coin for him. Realizing that Johnny is now happy, Professor Ford suggests they use what they believe is Johnny's two-headed coin. Prudence wins the toss, and Johnny later learns that she did not use the special coin, but won him honestly.

Professor Ford happily leaves town alone, leaving Johnny with his new family.



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