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Colleen (1936)

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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 146 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

The Ames Company makes every effort to keep Uncle Cedric away from any decisions or work. This is in the best interests for him and the company. Trouble starts when he hires a schemer named... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Colleen (1936)

Colleen (1936) on IMDb 6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Donald Ames 3rd
Colleen Reilly
Jack Oakie ...
Joe Cork
Minnie Hawkins
Cedric Ames
Louise Fazenda ...
Alicia Ames
Paul Draper ...
Paul Gordon
Marie Wilson ...
Luis Alberni ...
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Berton Churchill ...
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Pop Reilly
Addison Richards ...
Charles Coleman ...


The Ames Company makes every effort to keep Uncle Cedric away from any decisions or work. This is in the best interests for him and the company. Trouble starts when he hires a schemer named Joe as his personal assistant and then a gal named Minnie who loves fashion. He buys Minnie a dress shop where Colleen is the bookkeeper and scandal soon follows. When Donald goes to shut down the shop, he doesn't as he is infatuated by Colleen. Colleen runs the shop and fashion shows and starts to make a profit, but Minnie starts a scandal when Cedric tries to adopt her, but doesn't - much to the horror of Alicia and the amusement of the press. Then Joe sues Donald for the loss of Colleen's affection. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HUGH HERBERT Starts Clowning...PAUL DRAPER Starts Stepping...LOUISE FAZENDA Starts A Riot! See more »


Musical | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Colleen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The running time at a press preview was 100 minutes, but it was cut to 89 minutes before release. See more »


Edited into Six Hits and a Miss (1942) See more »


Summer Night
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played on piano and hummed by Dick Powell
Played also as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

9 September 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While the film has a few interesting moments, "Colleen" is pure fluff--and the songs aren't particularly distinguished. Musical fans will probably be disappointed and non-musical fans probably won't be won over by the film.

The film begins with the rich eccentric owner (Hugh Herbert) of the Ames Company showing up for work--and that's a bad thing. So, it's up to his nephew (Dick Powell) to follow behind and clean up his messes. One mess involves Herbert's relationship with a wicked gold-digger (Joan Blondell) and her 'friend' (Jack Oakey). And when Powell goes to investigate the dress shop that Herbert bought for her, he meets Blondell's bookkeeper (Ruby Keeler) and falls in love. But, it's too early in the film and naturally some monkey wrench arises that keeps them apart until their ultimate and very expected happy ending.

As I said above, the film has lots of singing and dancing but none of it is particularly distinguished. In addition, Miss Keeler (who was a great dancer) sang too often--and this was a problem since her singing was pretty flat and lifeless. Oddly, when she danced they often had her dancing with a different guy (not Powell)--probably because he had a nice voice but wasn't a dancer. And, she was really a dancer and not a singer--an odd combination.

As for the comedy, I agree with another reviewer who felt that basing an entire film around Herbert wasn't a great idea, as he was very much a one-not performer. He could be good (such as in "The Traveling Saleslady") but he could also become tiresome with his effete manner and shtick. The brightest spots in the film, I think, were Blondell and Oakey, but since it was a musical, this left these two out of much of the film--though their musical number together was pretty decent. All in all, a lot of fluff and a pleasant time-passer at best.

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