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College (1927)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Sport | November 1927 (USA)
To reconcile with his girlfriend, a bookish college student tries to become an athlete.


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Complete credited cast:
The Girl
Flora Bramley ...
Her Friend
A Rival
Snitz Edwards ...
The Dean
Carl Harbaugh ...
Sam Crawford ...
A Mother
A Son


Ronald's high school valedictory address praises books and condemns sports. His girlfriend Mary condemns his attitude. He fears losing her to rival Jeff, decides to go to college and pay more attention to sports. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You'll graduate with a perpetual smile! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

November 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buster Keaton, der Student  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Various sources associated with the production recalled in later interviews that there was also a filmed scene of Buster Keaton's character trying to play football, but that this scene was later removed to avoid too close a comparison with Harold Lloyd's The Freshman (1925). While no film has surfaced to confirm this, production stills show Buster wearing a football uniform, and playing football with some kids in a vacant lot. Moreover, two small parts of the released film lend credence to it: 1) When Keaton is unpacking in his dorm, one of the how-to-play-sports books he unpacks is about football, and 2) in the scene of Keaton running across the campus to rescue his girl, he dodges through a crowd of people like a running back trying to avoid tacklers in the open field. See more »


Referenced in Silent Echoes: College (2013) See more »


The Entertainer
written by Scott Joplin
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User Reviews

Keaton's Version Of The Freshman
1 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film reminded me a lot of Harold Lloyd's "The Freshman," in which Harold goes out for sports in college to impress a girl - same story - and made two years earlier. I am partial to Lloyd's version but I enjoyed this, too.

Keaton's version starts off with the high school graduation ceremony. "Ronald" (Keaton), the scholar of the class, gives a speech denouncing athletics as a total waste of time and promoting being a bookworm over anything else. This speech is so offensive to the crowd that everyone leaves but Keaton's mom, who applauds. By the way, all the high school graduates look between 25-35 years of age. These are the oldest-looking high school seniors in history!!

Anyway, a girl Buster is trying to impress "Mary Haynes" (Anne Cornwall), was among those not impressed with his snobby "scholar" speech. She'd rather have an athletic man. So, upon entering college, "Ronald" tries a variety of sports, to gain the approval of the girl. (Does this theme sound familiar, not just in the Lloyd film but so many of Keaton's other films?)

He attempts to play baseball but is so clueless he puts on all the catcher's equipment to play third base. Suffice to say, after a number of plays ensue, it's more than evident that "Ronald" is a little bit out of his element! Next, he goes out for track, but gets discouraged when two little kids speed by him on the track. Throwing the discus and javelin are not good ideas, either. His high-jumping routine is very funny. He isn't bad in the hurdles, however. Obviously, pole vaulting doesn't work and the hammer throw almost gets his teammates killed, so he's told to leave.

He gets a call from the Dean's office. The Dean, who liked him from the start because he preferred studies over sports, is distressed because Buster's grades are bad. Buster explains his problems and the Dean (played by the always-funny Snitz Edwards) sympathizes because, being a wimpy little guy, he same problem years ago with a woman he liked. So, as a favor, Dean Edwards orders the rowing coach to install Buster as the coxswain of the team. The coach and the crew don't want this, as "Little Lord Fauntleroy" or "Mama's Boy" and other names he's called, has a reputation already at college as an athletic loser. They try to sabotage his attempt at being part of their crew, but he turns the tables. The funniest scene is when the new coxswain literally becomes the boat's rudder.

The neatest part of the film is the ending, which is usually the case in silent comedies. Suffice to say that Buster puts all of his athletic talents, which were not effective on the sports fields, to good use to get the girl. It's a memorable ending.

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