Winfield College students who are trying to put together the annual varsity show come into conflict with their faculty adviser, a stodgy old professor whose ideas are hopelessly out of date...
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Winfield College students who are trying to put together the annual varsity show come into conflict with their faculty adviser, a stodgy old professor whose ideas are hopelessly out of date, and who won't even let the new "swing" music be played in the show. They decide to get ahold of a former student who is now a big Broadway star and have him direct their show. What they don't know is that this "star's" last three shows were big flops. Written by
When Fred Waring was approached to play a starring role in this film, he brought his famous glee club, The Pennsylvanians, to the shoot and planned on using the college glee club from Pomona College for additional singers. When he arrived at the campus he found the Glee Club conductor was ill but his replacement was a young, energetic man named Robert Shaw. After the movie was finished, Shaw followed Waring to New York, where he founded the Collegiate Chorale and the Robert Shaw Chorale. Robert Shaw went on to be one of the most important personalities in American choral music in the 20th century. See more »
Varsity Show was an enjoyable Warner musical from the late '30s
Dick Powell is a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer who's invited to go back to his alma mater of Winfield to help produce the title program because the old man of the faculty (Walter Catlett) doesn't like the "vulgar" music and dance styles being done there. I'll stop there and just say this was quite an enjoyable musical comedy in the 80-minute version I just watched on DVD. I can't imagine this film being longer but according to this site, it's at least maybe 40 minutes more. Probably extraneous stuff not really necessary. Busby Berkeley, as always, puts the stops in the final number with all those formations of various college insignias that could only be done in film. So on that note, I highly recommend Varsity Show. P.S. It's interesting seeing Ted Healy-the former leader of what became known as The Three Stooges-have a couple of scenes with Edward Brophy-who would appear with Moe, Larry, and Curly in Swing Parade of 1946. Also that Brophy's character's nickname is "Curly". And I watched this just now because Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann-in their book "The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang"-mentioned in Spanky's bio that he appeared in this under his real name-George McFarland. That name does appear in the closing cast list as playing someone named Hap but the Little Rascal is nowhere in it so obviously it's a different MacFarland.
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