6 user 3 critic

Bachelor Bait (1934)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 27 July 1934 (USA)
A well-meaning but bumbling clerk at the Marriage License Bureau winds up getting fired. He decides to open up his own "matchmaking" business and takes a personal interest in his clients, ... See full summary »


George Stevens


Edward Halperin (story), Victor Halperin (story) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Stuart Erwin ... Mr. William Watts
Rochelle Hudson ... Cynthia Douglas
Pert Kelton ... Allie Summers
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Bramwell Van Dusen (as 'Skeets' Gallagher)
Berton Churchill ... 'Big' Barney Nolan (as Burton Churchill)
Grady Sutton ... Don Belden / Diker
Clarence Wilson ... District Attorney Clement Graftsman (as Clarence H. Wilson)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edgar Kennedy ... (scenes deleted)


A well-meaning but bumbling clerk at the Marriage License Bureau winds up getting fired. He decides to open up his own "matchmaking" business and takes a personal interest in his clients, but things don't quite work out as smoothly as he had planned. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 July 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great American Harem See more »


Box Office


$120,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The father who barges on in his son applying for a marriage license in the beginning of the film was played by the actual father of George Stevens, the director of this RKO film. See more »


Bramwell Van Dusen, a Lawyer: [speaking of Miss Douglas] Hey, are you going for her?
Mr. William Watts: Aw, she wouldn't look at me. I just like her, so I want to get her the best husband I can to make her happy. That's why you got to do something about Allie.
Bramwell Van Dusen, a Lawyer: Did you ever try to do anything about Allie?
Mr. William Watts: I should say not!
Bramwell Van Dusen, a Lawyer: When she decides she likes a man, he likes it or else.
Mr. William Watts: Or else what?
Bramwell Van Dusen, a Lawyer: Or else he learns to like it.
Mr. William Watts: Well, you talk to her. Explain that she's not the one for Don.
Bramwell Van Dusen, a Lawyer: I did.
Mr. William Watts: What did she say?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a background of underwater scenery, with ladies sitting on fish-hooks. See more »


The Donkey Serenade
Music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest
Played as background music at the Ritz
See more »

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User Reviews

The story had promise but the film just never delivered
19 December 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Stu Erwin usually played in supporting roles, but here he's given a lead in a comedy with a promising storyline. Unfortunately, his comic shoulders are just not broad enough to carry the load alone. He plays Bill Watts, an ex-employee of the Marriage License Bureau who decides to go into business as a matchmaker. Bill may have a bland exterior, but he has the soul of a romantic and it turns out that he is very good at what he does, thus his business booms. His problems begin when a millionaire shows up at his office (Grady Sutton) looking for a mate. Bill picks out his own secretary (Rochelle Hudson) as a potential wife, but an obnoxious and loud golddigger (Pert Kelton) inserts herself into the situation. From this point forward the story bogs down, not just because of the plot itself, but the gold digger gets tiresome in a hurry. This is the kind of role that could have been handled with skill by someone like Patsy Kelly, but Ms. Kelton's voice and presence soon becomes as irksome as fingernails on a blackboard.

This movie was made shortly after the production code came in, and I think that went a long way in sinking it. Movies were so completely sterilized in 1934 and 1935 that comedies that ventured anywhere near the topics of sex and romance often come across like the musical comedies of 1931 and 1932 that had all of their songs stripped out of them due to the hostility of the public toward movie musicals. Something is just missing.

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