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Biff and Eddie are the best of friends. They are college seniors; roommates at the Fraternity; and star teammates on the USC Football team. Then a flapper named Babs enters the picture. Biff considers Babs his girl, and she does like him more than Eddie, but Eddie is persistent. Everywhere they go, Eddie and Biff are competing for Babs. When Eddie stops trying, Babs decides that she wants him and this causes the friendship of Eddie and Biff to end. This rivalry even affects their ability to play football together. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Unlike many films about college, this one actually names the location - USC, although you never see anybody here crack a book. If you like the early talkies, and in particular if you like Robert Montgomery, I do recommend this one. It is typical of MGM's output in 1929 and 1930 in that if they made a movie that was the least bit comical, then it had to be at least partially musical. This one has some drama in it, but it is mainly a comedy.
Eddie (Elliott Nugent) and Biff (Robert Montgomery) are popular senior football stars playing at USC, moving into their dorm room for the fourth and last time. They're buddies through thick and thin, but then a beautiful coed comes along that neither encourages nor discourages either of them enough to make them believe they are not in the hunt for her affections. At that point, a four-year friendship on campus and on the football field becomes strained. Will the young woman (Sally Starr) choose Eddie? Biff? none of the above? Watch and find out.
This film is notable for being Robert Montgomery's third film role and Cliff Edwards' second. As such, at this point, Elliott Nugent is billed ahead of Montgomery, but that will soon change as Montgomery is a big hit with audiences and begins to compete with William Haines for the kind of leading man roles that normally had gone to Haines. Cliff Edwards doesn't have a huge role here, and frankly he looks way too old to be playing a college student, but he is still fun to watch as always. He is mainly comic relief and musical accompaniment in the musical numbers carrying his trademark ukulele. Also note Polly Moran as the cook at the fraternity house where Biff and Eddie live. She doesn't have many lines, but what she does have goes a long way. I also enjoyed the dance scene as some of the wilder dance numbers echo the exuberance that is the hallmark of the end of the roaring 20's.
Leading lady Sally Starr isn't that well known today, but she was heavily promoted by MGM in the early talkie era as an answer to Clara Bow, and you can't help but see the similarities in everything from her demeanor to her voice that sounds quite a bit like Ms. Bow.
Others have called this film creaky and static, but I really enjoyed it and thought it moved along nicely. There are no halting long-winded scenes, no gestures left over from the silent era - everyone involved seems to "get" acting in the talkie era. The only problem I could see is that occasionally the soundtrack would overpower the speech of the actors and make conversation hard to pick up, but this didn't happen very often. Just don't come to this one looking for a heavy dramatic storyline or even one that makes a lot of sense. It is pure escapism.
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