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Bessie and Winston "Slug" Winters are married coaches whose mission is to whip their college football team into shape. Just in time, they discover a hillbilly farmhand and his sister. But the hillbilly farmhand's ability to throw melons enables him to become their star passing ace. Written by
"Pigskin Parade" is a thoroughly enjoyable college football musical - the kind of fluffy, unpretentious froths 20th Century Fox usually done well. It recounts the events leading to a big charity football game between Texas State University and Yale.
Sure at times it's silly and corny; but when you come across an innocent and charming cast that includes Judy Garland (in her debut!), Betty Grable, Stuart Erwin, Arline Judd, Jack Haley, Patsy Kelly, Alan Ladd, Tony Martin, Elisha Cook Jr, plus those enchanting musical numbers, any flaw or implausibility has to forgiven.
The teaming of Jack Haley and Patsy Kelly as the married coaches guiding TSU at the Yale Bowl is itself fun to watch. You should see Haley's reaction when he finds out his wife has injured the team's star player! Stuart Erwin as the dour hillbilly tosser Amos Dodd later turned ace footballer is hilarious!
Judy Garland, on loan from MGM, looks very young in her role, three years before she starred again with Jack Haley in "The Wizard of Oz".
The young, up-and-coming Betty Grable, with her carefree enthusiasm, was a delight to watch again after she starred in another frothy campus musical "Old Man Rhythm"(1935). This is one her earliest roles and she handles it in a bouncy, exuberant manner like most of her best roles.
David Butler's direction is unpretentiously fluid, breezily mixing slapstick and highly uproarious songs/numbers. My favorites are "The Balboa", "It's Love I'm After", "You Say the Darndest Things" and "We're Glad to Be In College".
Watch it and Enjoy.
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