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Coach George Copper's college football team is losing game after game, much to the dismay of stiff-and-stuffy but influential alumni Roger Jessup, and also having trouble at home with his oldest daughter, Connie. The team keeps losing and Coach Cooper is about to lose his job as his efforts to win the last game of the season, against the team's Big Rival, end in disaster. But, unknown to he and his wife, Elizabeth, Connie has sold an article, called "I Was a Bubble Dancer" to a 'True-Confession" magazine, and the girl-who-couldn't-get-a-date becomes suddenly popular and, because of her, the high-school football star from another town decides to play his college-ball for Coach Cooper. Jessup is forced to keep Cooper on as the school's football coach. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wispy thin, dryly amusing sitcom with a fine cast...
It took a total four screenwriters (Aleen Leslie, Mary Loos, Casey Robinson and Richard Sale) to adapt one exceptionally thin play by Clifford Goldsmith, a comedy about a losing college football coach and his nutty family in small town America. It's nice to see Maureen O'Hara again playing mom to precocious Natalie Wood (following 1947's "Miracle on 34th Street"), but O'Hara has distressingly little to do here except dote on exasperated hubby Fred MacMurray, the coach who sidelines himself mostly on the couch. The writing and staging are so mechanical you can almost sense the pauses for preconceived laughs, but nobody except Wood and Thelma Ritter (in another of her maid roles) gets anything amusing to say. MacMurray, as usual, looks like a Bassett Hound in a top coat, and older sis Betty Lynn takes an awful long to bloom (she writes a short story about a teenage bubble dancer, which is funny until O'Hara gives her a solemn talking-to, spoiling the laughs). Jim Backus (billed as James G. Backus) is nice to have around as a neighbor, and Richard Tyler is a handsome kid who works at the gas station (his best line: "Mustaches--do you how hard they are to grow?!"). The laugh lines aren't deft, though they are occasionally underplayed by the cast, and this creates a droll rhythm which makes up for the lack of any big scenes. **1/2 from ****
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