6.1/10
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8 user 2 critic

College Holiday (1936)

Expecting to put on a musical show, singing and dancing college students are brought to a struggling hotel to be guinea pigs in an ancient Greek-themed eugenics experiment.

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Daisy Schloggenheimer
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Stage Hand
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Sylvia Smith
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Dick Winters
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Eleanore Wayne
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Etienne Girardot ...
Prof. Hercules Dove
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Felice L'Hommedieu
Louis Da Pron ...
Barry Taylor
Jed Prouty ...
Sheriff John J. Trimble
Margaret Seddon ...
Mrs. Schloggenheimer
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Storyline

Sylvia Smith and Dick Winters share a romantic kiss at a dance, but Sylvia is called away before Dick can learn her full name. Sylvia's father is about to lose his California hotel, the Casa Del Mar, thanks to the financial blundering of his new business partner J. Davis Bowster. The mortgage is held by eccentric heiress Carola P. Gaye, whose current fascination is with the ancient Greek-style eugenics championed by Prof. Hercules Dove. Carola plans to use the hotel as the center of her "Body Beauteous" selective mating program. Looking to raise funds with a collegiate musical show, Bowster gathers talent under the pretense of recruiting good-looking young people for Carola's eugenics experiment. Among the group are Dick Winters (still searching for his mystery girl) and Daisy Schloggenheimer (taught to resist male attention with physical force). Under strict orders to prevent any romance between the "guinea pigs", Bowster has great difficulty keeping the boys and the girls away from ... Written by Jimmy L.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A mad, merry, music-filled Joy Jamboree! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alegria a Solta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Goofs

In Miss Gaye's car, Bowster is clasping his toga closed at his breast with his left hand in practically all of the close-ups. In long shots, his hand's in his lap. See more »

Quotes

George Hymen: All I want to know is why are we riding in a chariot with four white horses when there are hundreds of taxi cabs?
Calliope 'Gracie' Dove: Well, four horses couldn't get into a taxi cab. Even if they had money!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fright Night (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's That Knocking at My Heart?
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
Music by Burton Lane
Performed by Martha Raye
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How can a film that promotes eugenics and has a LONG minstrel show finale be a good film--particularly when it has almost no laughs?!
28 June 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"College Holiday" is a film with practically no plot and the writing is generally awful. This is why although there are some talented folks in the film, it manages to make the least of them! Oddly, the film has relatively glowing reviews and a very respectable 7.0. Don't believe it---this is a terrible so-called comedy.

Jack Benny plays a guy whose hotel is going out of business. When a crazy rich lady arrives to try to take over his hotel, he convinces her that he can help her find a lot of subjects for her eugenics experiment* and she has no idea he's the hotel owner. So, Benny goes to colleges around the country recruiting handsome college students--and they have no idea that they are going to be involved in some sort of wacky breeding program! And who is the 'expert' who will be matching up these couples? The ideal woman, Calliope (Gracie Allen).

This plot makes little sense and is just an excuse for a plot. Additionally, considering the Third Reich and what they did in regard to eugenics, it's a completely distasteful subject--selectively breeding people like dogs in order to better the human race. What they don't mention is that the eugenics movement ALSO sought to eliminate so-called 'inferiors'. Mostly, people thought this would occur through mass sterilization programs, but the Nazis found an easier way by simply killing these undesirables! So much for a plot for a comedy!!

As far as the rest of the story goes, it really is very, very thin and there are LOTS of sidetracks. Mostly the film consists of lots of excremental song and dance numbers--some of the worst of the era. This, the general lack of laughs and the goofy plot served to make a singularly awful film--and you can barely tell that it was SUPPOSED to be a comedy. Among the unfunniest folks in this film are Ben Blue and Martha Raye--who are simply detestable and obnoxious. As for George Burns, Gracie Allen and Jack Benny, they should have been a lot funnier and their pairing should have been wonderful. It wasn't and the film is at best annoying. Especially awful is the finale--which is a giant minstrel show!!!!

If you do watch this film, and I pray you don't, look for a couple things. First, Benny hammering out his theme song "Love in Bloom" near the beginning of the film. Second, when Marsha Hunt and Leif Erickson jump into the lake, the underwater shot clearly was done in a pool--as you can see the sides of the pool in the distance.

In conclusion--the film had white folks in black face, almost no laughs AND it promoted Nazi ideals of race supremacy. All in all, reasons that I am right about this awful film and the other reviewers are not!


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