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The Male Animal (1942)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  4 April 1942 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 735 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 9 critic

The trustees of Midwestern University have forced three teachers out of their jobs for being suspected communists. Trustee Ed Keller has also threatened mild mannered English Professor ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Herbert Anderson ...
...
Ivan F. Simpson ...
Dean Frederick Damon (as Ivan Simpson)
Don DeFore ...
Jean Ames ...
'Hot Garters' Gardner
Minna Phillips ...
Regina Wallace ...
Frank Mayo ...
Coach Sprague
William B. Davidson ...
Alumnus
Bobby Barnes ...
Nutsy Miller
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Storyline

The trustees of Midwestern University have forced three teachers out of their jobs for being suspected communists. Trustee Ed Keller has also threatened mild mannered English Professor Tommy Turner, because he plans to read a controversial piece of prose in class. Tommy is upset that his wife Ellen also suggested he not read the passage. Meanwhile, Ellen's old boyfriend, the football player Joe Ferguson, comes to visit for the homecoming weekend. He takes Ellen out dancing after the football rally, causing Tommy to worry that he will lose her to Joe. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assim é que Elas Gostam  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gene Tierney starred in the Broadway production as Patricia Stanley, she was to be loaned out to Warner Bros. but was cast in John Ford's Tobacco Road (1941) instead. See more »

Quotes

Ellen Turner: You'd better take a hot water bottle to bed with you.
Prof. Tommy Turner: Nice of you to arrange for a substitute.
See more »


Soundtracks

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Frank Churchill
Lyrics by Frank Churchill and Ann Ronell
Sung a cappella by Henry Fonda
See more »

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User Reviews

 
surprisingly timely
2 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Henry Fonda is a college professor in danger of losing his job and his wife in "The Male Animal," also starring Olivia de Havilland, Jack Carson, and Joan Leslie. Fonda plays a happily married intellectual. On the weekend of college homecoming, his wife's former beau (Jack Carson), a jock, shows up, giving rise to the professor's insecurities. He's having problems in his teaching life as well when an editorial states that he plans to read a letter from Bartolomeo Vanzetti (of Sacco and Vanzetti) in his English composition class. The trustees aren't happy and want him to state that the article is incorrect. As he is up for a full professorship, his wife hopes he will back down also since three teachers have been fired for being "reds." This is an odd film with a very timely message about censorship and its dangers that by itself would have made a good movie, especially with wonderful actors like Fonda and de Havilland. However, the home situation was played for comedy. This film didn't seem to know which it was. If I were to guess, I would say the studio wanted a comedy and the dramatic part was downplayed. It's a shame, because there was nothing special about that part of the film, except that Jack Carson was very good.

The Henry Fonda character discovers that he has to become "the male animal," i.e., one who fiercely protects his home, and not only his home, but his role as a teacher as well. Today, when "Brokeback Mountain" isn't being shown in all areas, and more censorship is being urged, this is a good movie to see if only to remind us that the this is a war that has been fought for years. Nowadays I wonder if we're winning.


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