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Stupid football player is kidnapped by gangsters. Lunatics abound: former footballer now dancer, professor interested in magic, gangster who makes horse noises when excited. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
I doubt that James Thurber would recognize his story from this film and Thurber purists would protest about Rise And Shine. But taken on its own merits this is one funny film with its centerpiece Jack Oakie once again playing his patented lunkhead college football player which he started portraying back with College Humor.
Clayton College seems to have one reason for existence, its football team built around Oakie who gets along with all the other football players the pass on academics. Check out the scene where he's taking a final in order to keep his eligibility. But more than the college have a vested interest in Oakie.
Gambler and nightclub owner Sheldon Leonard has some heavy money he wants to lay down so he sends one of his entertainers George Murphy out to the small town where Clayton College is to keep tabs on Oakie. In doing so, Murphy, Raymond Walburn, and Ruth Donnelly move next door to where Oakie is staying.
Oakie is domiciled at Professor Donald Meek's house with Meek's lovely cheerleader daughter Linda Darnell and her Grandpa Walter Brennan. Of course Murphy and Darnell fall for each other. And of course Leonard shows his hand as he tries to keep Oakie from the big game.
By the way Oakie in addition to academics seems to suffer from narcolepsy. That's quite the challenge for all concerned.
Outside of any number of Frank Capra films I doubt you will come across a cast as rich in colorful supporting players as in Rise And Shine. Look at the ones I've already mentioned and in addition to them Donald MacBride as the choleric football coach, William Haade as a dumb henchman, Paul Harvey as the always interfering alumni booster, and even a young Milton Berle as another Leonard flunky who has a laugh like a horse whinny. They call him Seabiscuit.
With a cast like this there is no way you will not enjoy Rise And Shine.
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