IMDb > Varsity Show (1937)
Varsity Show
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Varsity Show (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Jerry Wald (screen play) and
Richard Macaulay (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Varsity Show on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 September 1937 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
IT'S THE CHEER LEADER OF ALL SCREEN MUSICALS! (original ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
Winfield College students who are trying to put together the annual varsity show come into conflict with their faculty adviser... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Here's one of your few opportunities to see the work of the tap dancer Fred Astaire called the best of his generation See more (12 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Dick Powell ... Charles 'Chuck' Daly
Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians ... Themselves
Ted Healy ... William Williams
Rosemary Lane ... Barbara 'Babs' Steward

Priscilla Lane ... Betty Bradley
Walter Catlett ... Professor Sylvester Biddle
Johnnie Davis ... Buzz Bolton (as Johnny Davis)
Ford Washington Lee ... Buck (as Buck)
John William Sublett ... Bubbles (as Bubbles)
Fred Waring ... Ernie Mason

Sterling Holloway ... Trout
Mabel Todd ... Cuddles
Scotty Bates ... Scotty
George MacFarland ... Hap
Poley McClintock ... Poley
Lee Dixon ... Johnny 'Rubberlegs' Stevens
Halliwell Hobbes ... Dean Meredith
Roy Atwell ... Professor Washburn
Edward Brophy ... Mike Barclay (as Ed Brophy)
Ben Welden ... Hammer
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Smith
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kenneth Anspach ... Student (uncredited)
Veda Ann Borg ... Passerby (uncredited)
Buck and Bubbles ... Themselves (uncredited)
Glen Cavender ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Robert Clayton ... Man (uncredited)
Don Downen ... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Jane Doyle ... Student (uncredited)
John George Doyle ... Student (uncredited)
Earl Dwire ... Professor (uncredited)
Sarah Edwards ... Mrs. Biddle (uncredited)
Maxine Fisher ... Woman (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... Stagehand (uncredited)
John Harron ... Clerk (uncredited)
Buddy Henry ... Man (uncredited)
Harry Hollingsworth ... Doorman (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Professor (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Police Sgt. Murphy (uncredited)
Tom Kennedy ... Policeman (uncredited)

Carole Landis ... Student (uncredited)
Wade Lane ... Professor (uncredited)
Al Lloyd ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Wilfred Lucas ... Police Commissioner (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
Spec O'Donnell ... Student (uncredited)
Virginia Pitman ... Woman (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Man (voice) (uncredited)
Ferris Taylor ... Mayor Jones (uncredited)
Rosella Towne ... Passerby (uncredited)
Tom Wilson ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Betty Wonder ... Student (uncredited)
Tommy Wonder ... Student (uncredited)
Walter Young ... Professor (uncredited)

Directed by
William Keighley 
 
Writing credits
Jerry Wald (screen play) and
Richard Macaulay (screen play) &
Sig Herzig (screen play) (as Sid Herzig) and
Warren Duff (screen play)

Warren Duff (from an original story by) and
Sig Herzig (from an original story by)

Produced by
Louis F. Edelman .... associate producer (uncredited)
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Ray Heindorf (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
George Barnes (photographed by: finale)
Sol Polito (photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Amy (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Carl Jules Weyl 
 
Costume Design by
Howard Shoup (gowns)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Drew Eberson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Charles David Forrest .... sound (as Charles D. Forrest)
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound (as Oliver Garretson)
 
Music Department
Virgil Davis .... orchestral arrangements
Richard R. Kirk .... composer: "A Toast to Michigan"
Johnny Mercer .... music and lyrics by
Steve Mougin .... orchestral arrangements
Frank Perkins .... orchestral arrangements
Frank Perkins .... vocal arrangements
Roy Ringwald .... vocal arrangements
Fred Waring .... musical direction
Richard A. Whiting .... music and lyrics by (as Dck Whiting)
M.K. Jerome .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Tony Romano .... vocal arranger (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Busby Berkeley .... creator: finale
Busby Berkeley .... director: finale
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.) (A Warner Bros. Picture)
Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
120 min | USA:80 min (Turner library print) | 81 min (re-release) (edited)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Finland:S | USA:Approved (PCA #3393) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the college kids arrive in New York to put on there show there are about 60 of them and they have only a few props. When they put on their show they have massive, elaborate sets and props, more than 200 actors and the stage is much larger than the whole theater.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
We're Working Our Way Through CollegeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Here's one of your few opportunities to see the work of the tap dancer Fred Astaire called the best of his generation, 24 October 2008
Author: Terrell-4 from San Antonio, Texas

Why watch Varsity Show? Two words: John Bubbles, the man Fred Astaire said was the greatest tap dancer of his generation. John Sublette (John Bubbles was his stage name) and his partner, Ford Washington Lee, were Buck and Bubbles, with Buck primarily at the piano and Bubbles dancing and singing. They were major stars in vaudeville. I can't explain dancing any more than an infant can explain milk, but I know the good stuff when I see it. John Bubbles combined tap, a sort of fast shuffle and ingenious rhythm into something I wouldn't argue with Astaire about. He has a couple of short numbers in this inane college musical and one Buck and Bubbles short production number to "Have You Got Any Castles, Baby?" They make watching the movie something special.

Among the aged aspects of Varsity Show that you have to get past to enjoy the tap artistry of John Bubbles are...the jokes are so corny even Iowa wouldn't take credit for them...the pacing is just about as matter-of-fact as that bland title...several of the students have long since past their college years...ironically, Dick Powell seems too young for the part...and Fred Waring as the drama teacher is so sincere, so constantly smiling and so solicitous of the students as to be creepy.

Still, the Richard Whiting and Johnny Mercer songs aren't bad. "We're working Our Way Through College," sung by Powell and the students as they stride through the campus, is bouncy and funny.

"We're working our way through college / To get a lot of knowledge / That we'll probably never ever use again.

It's swell to tell what parallel and parallax is, / But after graduation will it pay our taxes?"

For those fond of choral music there's Waring and his Pennsylvanians (they're in the movie as college students) doing some fine singing. Aficionados of college pep songs will hear a bunch of them at the big smash close. And for those with a morbid fondness for stories about alcoholics, there's Ted Healy in a major role and Lee Dixon in a minor one. Healy, who's the reason there was a Three Stooges, wound up in Hollywood as one of the highest paid comedy actors. His specialty was the big grump. Let me tell you, he was good. He also was a big-time alcoholic. He got into a drunken fight the night his first child was born (the year Varsity Show was released) and died several hours later. He was 41. Lee Dixon was big and blond, an eccentric dancer in the early Buddy Ebsen style. He was handsome enough with an open, quizzical kind of face. He towered over everyone else. He was 23 when he made Varsity Show and played one of the students, had a few lines and a couple of brief dance steps. By the early Forties he was drinking so heavily no one wanted to take a chance on him. Rodgers and Hammerstein offered him the part of Will Smith in Oklahoma! after extracting the promise he wouldn't hit the bottle. He received great reviews with his two numbers, "Kansas City" and "All Er Nuthin'" (with Celeste Holm as Ado Annie). All was well for a year or so, then he started sneaking drinks, then more and more. That was that. He faded fast and died at 39 in 1954. What's the moral to Healy and Dixon? You've got me.

The story? The kids at Winfield College are putting on the annual varsity show but their professor adviser insists that there'll be nothing "swinging" or "modern." A group of them decide to go to New York and ask Chuck Daly (Dick Powell), famous Broadway producer and Winfield graduate, to take over the show. They've got a lot of great songs and ideas. They don't know that Daly has had three flops in a row and is broke. We can skip the next hour. The show is a smash, on Broadway no less, with a Busby Berkeley finale. Chuck wins a co- ed's love with Rosemary Lane the co-ed. She's second billed after Powell. Her sister, Priscilla, is third billed and gets a song to sing and a few dance steps to share with Dixon. Priscilla Lane has never done much for me, but here, at 22 and in her first movie, she's a cutie pie.

College musicals always seem to give off that indulgent condescension that so many adults reserve, usually to their regret, for the young. Still, some can be a lot of fun. There are three I like a lot. Too Many Girls has a book as inane as Varsity Show, but it has a great Rodgers and Hart score and a terrific Lucille Ball performance. Best Foot Forward has a fine Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane score, including that rouser, "Buckle Down, Winsocki," plus Ball again, and a great cast that includes June Allyson and Nancy Walker. Good News is a lot of fun, just as corny as the rest, but June Allyson is appealing, Peter Lawford avoids being appalling, and best of all there's Joan McCracken and Ray McDonald dancing. "Pass that Peace Pipe" is a showcase for both of them, especially McCracken.

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