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Another comment states that the movie was made at "San Antonio High
This is incorrect; the setting was Thomas Jefferson High School. I know; I attended Jefferson (tho I was only 2 years old at the time that the movie was made). One of the big deals of the movie was the pep squad called the Lassos. At the time that was the only pep squad composed of girls who could actually twirl ropes when they marched on football fields during the half-time or in parades. That was still true when I attended Jeff from 1953-56 -- and twirled a rope as a Lasso.
As far as I know, there has never been a San Antonio High School; there was a San Antonio Vocational Tech H.S. -- my mother went there.
Although I haven't seen the film--as a native San Antonian, I will make
it a point to do so in the near future. Just wanted to take the
opportunity to get a few historical details correct: First, one
commenter states "As far as I know, there has never been a San Antonio
High School . . .". As a matter of fact, there was a school by the name
of San Antonio High School--it was the very first public secondary
school in the city opening in 1879 (with one teacher by the name of F.
M. Halbedl; its first graduating class (composed of three girls) was in
February 1882). In 1917, this school's name was changed to Main Avenue
High School; in 1932, it became San Antonio Vocational and Technical
High School (the same year that Thomas Jefferson High was built); in
1961, it became Louis W. Fox Vocational and Technical High School. More
recently (in 1968), the name was changed to Louis W. Fox Academic and
Technical High School. San Antonians usually just refer to the school
as "Fox Tech." The former San Antonio High School, however, does not
appear to be the school set in "High School" the movie. That credit
would seem to go to Thomas Jefferson High School which opened in 1932
in San Antonio.
Second, another commenter states that "Thomas Jefferson High School was featured in Life Magazine as the nations first million dollar high school." More precisely, it was the March 7, 1938, edition of Life with a cover featuring two of the Lassos--described in the magazine "as a corps of 150 . . . girls, nattily turned out in cowgirl outfits, who travel all over the state." The Lassos are "the school's special pride" and are "the pick of the student body." They "can twirl ropes like experts and spell out the "T.J." of Thomas Jeffrson High." Jefferson High was in fact the first school in the entire country to cost more than $1 million to build--a figure which ranges from $1.4 to $1.5 million depending on what source you're using. Pretty impressive price tag and particularly expensive considering that the school was built during the Great Depression.
Third, another commenter states that "The voting into the Lassos is questionable and definitely too much like sorority pledging to be from a high school." Maybe . . . but you're probably not right because you're foisting too much of your contemporary attitudes and experiences that may simply not apply. The Lassos were formed by a 1919 graduate of Main Avenue High School by the name of Constance Douglas (she died in 2003 at the ripe old age of 101). She went back to teach at Main Avenue after college and when Jefferson High was built in 1932, she left to serve as a faculty member at this new campus. Douglas is credited for forming the Lassos. Anyway, Jefferson was intended to be an elite high school (read: primarily white)--there was considerable white flight to the surrounding northern areas of the city once this school was completed. Anyway, the Life article notes: "(Jefferson) has clubs which the school authorities recognize and fraternities and sororities which they don't." It continues: "This school on the Texas prairies is, in fact, a miniature of the great State universities of the West." By 1938, "more than 60 percent of the students will go on to college and, meanwhile, they ape college manners." Once again, though I haven't seen the movie, the sorority pledge rites were probably right on point--especially since this movie was made only two years after the Life magazine article was published and the students during this period seemed to take their high school career pretty seriously. Given the status of the Lassos during the period, I would venture to guess that being the "pick of the student body" involved all sorts of initiations.
Fourth, a final commenter states: "The location for the filming is the famous San Antonio High School." Once again, San Antonio High School no longer technically exist in 1940, the year "High School" came out. That school's new name was Main Avenue High School (due to a name change in 1917). The high school that you're thinking about, Jefferson High School, was built in 1932. Yes, it still exists and the building was designed by a local San Antonio architect by the name of Carleton Adams. I have read that Jefferson High was considered for some time the most beautiful high school in the U.S.--which doesn't surprise me especially given the price tag for its construction. It remains a beautiful building although it is showing its age due, in no small part, to demographic shifts of the San Antonio population over the last 40 years.
Does anyone have an idea where I can get a copy of this film?
Vincent A. Lazaro
In actuality, the school interiors and neighborhood scenes were filmed
in the Fox back lot. The "stars" never stepped foot in SA during the
filming. In 1992, I spoke with Jane Withers, and she verified the
information. The scene with the Lassos is obviously a rear screen
Jefferson High School itself has incorrect information in its files, as it states a sequel called "Texas Girl" was released a year later. In fact, both are the SAME film, released under different names, in various areas of the country. I researched this information in the Fox Film Archives.
About ten years ago, the movie was screened at Jefferson High. It is very much a "B" movie. The actual interiors of the school are amazing, unlike the lame sets utilized in the film. An even lamer "B" flick, "Johnny Be Good," was also filmed at the school in the late 80s. It has also been the location for numerous TV commercials.
Jane Withers is wonderful and funny, as always. You never doubt for a moment that she'll wind up being the girl everyone loves. The location for filming is the famous San Antonio High School, voted one of the Most Beautiful High Schools in America back in '30s or '40s. It still exists, and is still beautiful, an architectural marvel!
This is one of my favorite movies. Being a native San Antonian and a Jefferson grad. I love Jane Withers! Jane is a gifted actress I remember her role in Shirley Temples "Bright Eyes" and the epic "Giant". As mentioned by other comments, the movie was filmed at Thomas Jefferson High School. Mrs. Oliphant our English teacher, and Bess Richards the Lasso Sponsor recalled many times that the classroom blinds had to be drawn while filming was going on outside, and occasionally a student would draw them open and the director had to call "cut" and re-shoot the scene. Jane's photo portrait is prominently displayed in the Lasso office. A further note, Thomas Jefferson High School was featured in Life Magazine as the nations first million dollar high school, the architecture is Romansque and features a dome reminiscent of the famous Monticello. The Lassos were also featured on the front page of Life Magazine.
I remember seeing this movie on San Antonio television back in the 1960s. I was particularly interested because my older sister went to Jefferson. As others have said, this is definitely a "B" movie. I think the director missed an opportunity to put in more quality trick roping as trick roper Sam Garrett was an uncredited member of the cast and taught Jane Withers the body loop she does in the beginning of the movie. To anyone interested in Sam Garrett's work with actresses, I'd recommend going to YouTube and viewing Eleanor Powell's western rope dance in "I Dood It". Another person of interest in this movie is Cliff Edwards (aka Ukelele Ike), who plays Jeff. He had a successful recording and "B" movie career in the 1920s through 1940s, was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the Disney production Pinocchio (1940), and died penniless in 1971. "High School" can be obtained from Ashfault's Classic Movies (on the web).
Whether or not the film was actually filmed at Jefferson does not
matter. Those of us who went to Jeff always enjoy the notoriety this
movie brings. Definitely a "B" movie, it is still worth watching.
It is a predictable movie and is steeped in the innocence off the era. The voting into the Lassos is questionable and definitely too much like sorority pledging to be from a high school.
This is the only movie I remember seeing Jane Withers in. She was a commercial actor in my day. She did a good job playing the likely role of a ranch girl coming to San Antonio to go to school. There are still ranches within the city limits of the city.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although I have not seen the movie, I have tried, yet, I thought the readers should know that the movie was shot at one of San Antonio's many high schools. Modeled after Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, the movie was shot at Thomas Jefferson High School a little before my time, but where I graduated years later and still many years ago. Yes, it is beautiful! It is still going strong as we enter the 21st century. Although I have not seen the movie, I thought the readers should know that the movie was shot at one of San Antonio's many high schools. Modeled after Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Thomas Jefferson High School where I graduated many years ago. Yes, it is beautiful! It is still going strong as we enter the 21st century.
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