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Tony, the son of Italian immigrants, works in a smoky steel mill in Gary, Indiana. He wins a company scholarship which will enable him to attend Yale college. Over the four years of his college career he learns about football, love, and class prejudice. Written by
Thomas McWilliams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Real college students were recruited for larger scenes, each getting paid $5 a day. While this helped provide appropriate atmosphere for the college setting of this film, the students were hired at a rate that was below the standard $7.50-a-day paid daily to professional extras in Los Angeles. See more »
Ramon Novarro (as Tony Amatto) works in a steel mill; he is the son of Italian immigrants, and seems likely to remain a member of the working class. Then, as luck would have it, he wins a college scholarship. At Yale, Mr. Novarro becomes a football star; but, he still faces class discrimination.
Don't miss the opening sequence of this film; it's a terrific introduction to the film, and defines Novarro's character: Novarro is seen in his "working class" job; he gets into a fistfight, encounters a beautiful woman, and ends up under a pile of rubble. The woman with the irresistible legs is Madge Evans (as Rosalie Stone); she is both beautiful, and "upper class". Novarro re-encounters her later in the film, along with Una Merkel (as Thelma) and Martha Sleeper (as Barbara Winston). Novarro's nemesis is Ms. Evans' brother Kane Richman (as Tom Stone); and, his roommates are John Arledge (as Jim "Pidge" Pidgeon) and Frank Albertson (as Larry). Silent star Ralph Graves is a sound coach Malcolm Gale.
Mr. Arledge, as Novarro's second roommate "Pidge" is the best supporting performer (beating off some stiff competition). "I've lived with twelve fellas in my time and only liked three of them," Arledge explains, after Novarro chases him around the dorm, trying to get some first aid down his pants.
The film is a little too long for its own good; and, it wavers too far from the main story of a poor working class youth winning a chance to attend college, and break class barriers. It's difficult to determine what Novarro is actually learning at Yale. He already knew how to fight, and doesn't seem to have accumulated too many career options - though, he is certainly better off with a Yale diploma. Novarro (#44) and the cast are appealing, even when the story wavers. The end game plays well.
****** Huddle (5/14/32) Sam Wood ~ Ramon Novarro, John Arledge, Madge Evans
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