|Index||6 reviews in total|
This slightly less amusing sequel to Brother Rat is hampered by two
performances. Wayne Morris' overzealousness and Eddie Albert's
(if that's even a word) tended to be more annoying than amusing. If their
situations were written differently, perhaps, then maybe their characters'
traits would have come across better. As it is, the only likeable Rat of
trio is the put-upon Dan Crawford, played by Ronald Reagan.
The women of Brother Rat and a Baby play a lesser role is this movie, much as they did in Brother Rat. That's a shame, too, since they are a very appealing trio, especially the beautiful 'Priscilla Lane' (qv), one of my all-time favorites. Although she does get top billing in this film, she doesn't have much to do. Too bad.
More interaction between the three main couples and less nonsense could've made this a much better movie.
Someone, or maybe several someones, didn't pay enough attention to this
For one thing, the Jane Wyman character, for some reason never explained, or probably for no reason, has a different name. In the original, she was first called "Claire Adams" so potential dates wouldn't realize she was the daughter of the school commandant, Colonel Ramm.
In this sequel, she is named "Claire Terry" and her father is Major Terry.
While inexplicable, I guess the best approach is simply to suspend one's disbelief and enjoy the pleasant entertainment.
The story really isn't much, but the performers are among the most charming in Hollywood history.
As I wrote in my review of Brother Rat, the film did lose something
from coming over from Broadway. There I can only speculate because
Brother Rat is not a bad film. But Brother Rat And A Baby definitely
has lost something from its ancestry.
The three Virginia Military Institute cadets Wayne Morris, Ronald Reagan, and Eddie Albert have now graduated and two of them are away from all the cadet hijinks from VMI. But that was the whole point of the original Brother Rat it was the military school atmosphere that was the point of Brother Rat. Without that setting Morris and Reagan are just an average pair of Yuppies before that term came into existence. Albert is still a guy with a lot of goofball wanderlust.
This film also misses William Tracy as the everflustered plebe Misto who really added something to Brother Rat. Either the writers couldn't justify Misto's presence here or William Tracy wasn't available.
In fact the main point to this story is Albert wants to go back to VMI as an athletic coach. The other two try some madcap schemes to help him. Does it work, if you're interested tune in.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The original 1938 version dealt with the escapades of the Virginia
military cadets. Now, they have graduated in this 1940 version and
they're still up to their necks in all sorts of chicanery.
With the exception of Henry O'Neill, all the main players of the original version repeated their roles 2 years later.
Perhaps, since we got used to what they carried on at the military academy, we have become immune to their antics in the sequel.
Jane Wyman, with those thick glasses, showed she had some comic ability, especially in her drunk scene.
This picture again belongs to Wayne Morris,as the scheming guy who involves Ronald Reagan and Eddie Albert into a variety of messy situations.
Moroni Olsen, who replaced Henry O'Neill, in this version, is good but O'Neill displayed more of an authoritative figure in the prequel.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ray Enright directs this movie evocative of comedy in the early 40s. Three buddies graduate from the Virgina Military Institute and one, Bing(Eddie Albert), has already put in his application to return as a coach at the academy. His fun loving pals insist on assisting him; to get some needed recognition they put the would-be coach's baby aboard a plane leaving the country. This in hopes of the publicity gaining Bing the job he wants. Also in the cast are: Pricilla Lane, Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan, Wayne Morris, Jane Bryan and Arthur Treacher. My favorite scene is the cute Wyman getting tipsy. Albert comes across pretty obnoxious to me. Nonetheless, a fun film to watch.
Clean-cut Virginia Military Institute cadets Wayne Morris (as Billy
Randolph), Eddie Albert (as Bing Edwards), and Ronald Reagan (as Dan
Crawford) return from "Brother Rat" (1938) to struggle for work in the
post-graduate world. Wife Jane Bryan (as Kate), who provided the
titular "Commencement" baby, plus girlfriends Pricilla Lane (as Joyce)
and Jane Wyman (as Claire) are also back. The tagline screamed,
"They're back with a bang!
and a BABY" - but, only a few viewers had
The film is always trying to sparkle, but never quite does. It's most notable as the movie that accompanied, approximately, the wedding of future U.S. President Reagan and his pretty "first" lady. She was always quiet and dignified about their split; to paraphrase Ms. Wyman, they broke up because she could never learn to stay home and cook him a hamburger.
Isn't that nicely put?
**** Brother Rat and a Baby (1/13/40) Ray Enright ~ Wayne Morris, Eddie Albert, Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman
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