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Sorority House (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 5 May 1939 (USA)
Anne Shirley plays Alice Fisher-the daughter of a small grocer who at the last minute gets to go to little Talbot College. She learns that joining a sorority is an essential thing at the ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (from the story "Chi House" by) (as Mary Coyle Chase)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
James Ellison ...
Bill Loomis
Barbara Read ...
Dotty Spencer
Pamela Blake ...
Merle Scott (as Adele Pearce)
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Lew Fisher
Helen Wood ...
Mme. President - Martha Lanigan
Doris Davenport ...
Neva Simpson (as Doris Jordan)
June Storey ...
Norma Hancock
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Mrs. Scott
Margaret Armstrong ...
Mrs. Pettingell Dawson
...
Mr. Grant
...
Mr. Johnson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gwen Willson ...
Coed (as Gwen Horn uncredited)
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Storyline

Anne Shirley plays Alice Fisher-the daughter of a small grocer who at the last minute gets to go to little Talbot College. She learns that joining a sorority is an essential thing at the school. Unfortunately her late admission means that none of the sororities know about Alice and initially she is not even rushed. Fortunately her roommates have their own sorority problems and she soon falls in love with the BMOC. Written by Jeffrey Ewing

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adolescência  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

I Must See Annie Tonight
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Cliff Friend
Lyrics by Dave Franklin
Sung by the fraternity boys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Pleasant Romance
25 September 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"Revenge of the Nerds" would copy the basic storyline from 1939's "Sorority House"; which has more angst and less humor. Anne Shirley plays Alice Fisher-the daughter of a small grocer who at the last minute gets to go to little Talbot College. On the train she learns that joining a sorority is an essential thing at the school. Unfortunately her late admission means that none of the sororities know about Alice and initially she is not even rushed.

Arriving at the train station she asks about sororities but is told by a snooty girl that they are by invitation only. There is an immediate credibility problem here-if you have seen any Anne Shirley movies you know that any sorority in the world would be clamoring to have her join. But the situation regains its lost credibility when Alice's plain Jane roommate Dotty (Barbara Read) calls her a date getter and tells her that the sororities will want her once they see her because she will attract men. You need looks and money to get into these organizations at Talbot and sometimes even that is not enough. Those who don't make it are called "dreeps".

Almost all the coeds are Hollywood starlets so a date getter seems irrelevant. Even Dotty has the starlet look, as do three nerd girls in the next room. They try to detune these girls by putting them in glasses and braiding their hair. Marge Champion and Veronica Lake have small parts as average coeds, which should make you wish that you had been the BMOC at Talbot. The actual BMOC is Bill Loomis (James Ellison), he wears a letter sweater and is actually a very nice guy. The Alice-Bill romance is the best part of the film and has a lot of Norman Rockwell charm.

Doris Jordan plays Neva Simpson, the nasty queen bee of Gamma-the best sorority. She blackballs poor Merle (Pamela Blake) who is Alice's other roommate. Merle is devastated and suicidal.

Shirley was a wonderful actress, not just extremely beautiful but able to project an effortless likability. The film's best scene is her realization that in trying to impress the sorority girls she has hurt her father (J.M. Kerrigan). Beautiful nonverbal acting, which looks even better showcased in "Sorority House", where the other actresses are just not on her talent level.

"Sorority House" is a little sappy and takes most of its shots at the low hanging fruit of the 1930's sorority system, but Shirley, Ellison, and Kerrigan turn it into a very enjoyable production.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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