Although the onscreen credits list George Ade for "story idea," it was actually based on his play, "The College Widow," which opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 20 September 1904 and closed in May 1905 after 278 performances. The opening night cast included Douglas Wood. See more »
I recently reviewed this film. It is similar to many college films of the era that carry the theme: Dimwitted athletics vs nerdy academics. The twist is that this is Billings U., with a rowing team that lacks any punch. Enter the President's daughter, Joan (played by silver-white haired Patricia Ellis), who takes on the job of recruiting two of the best rowers in the nation, who just happen to be JC transfers - how else can you explain that the entire class of freshmen look like their slightly over 40! There is, of course, the love triangle of Joan, Tony Foster (played by Walter Johnson) and Bob Smith nee Wilson, (played by Warren Hull). Comic relief is supplied by the inept coach, "Speed" Hammond, (played by Frank McHugh) and Squirmy (Mary Treen), his college secretary. Trouble brews when the boys can't cut it academically and of course the big game -er-race is on Saturday, and they all have to pass a special test. You guessed it, the girls all pitch in to tutor our errant boys who would rather sing and dance than hit the books. The day is saved when it's discovered that the "boys" respond better to music than to the call of the coxswain, who also happens to be the college band leader (George E. Stone) - and the refrains of a hot "Dixie" wins the tournament. There are some great scenes of L.A. Harbor, the Rose Gardens across from USC, and woody boats at Lake Arrowhead as well as some catchy musical numbers well sung by Patricia Ellis -what ever happened to...? Look for a bit part by a very, very young Lloyd Bridges. All in all, good nostalgic fun - 6 out of 10 stars!
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