Father Was a Fullback (1949)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Sport  |  22 December 1949 (Australia)
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Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

Football coach George Cooper has as many problems managing his football team as he has at home dealing with his daughters, Ellen and Connie.



(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Elizabeth Cooper
Connie Cooper
Mr. Jessup
Ellen Cooper
Professor Sullivan (as James G. Backus)
Richard Tyler ...
Joe Birch
Buddy Martin ...
Frank Mills ...
Assistant Football Coach
Mickey McCardle ...
John McKee ...
Louise Lorimer ...
Mrs. Jones


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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I wanted to live DANGEROUSLY so I married a football coach (who lost every game)


Comedy | Sport


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 December 1949 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Papai Era Um Craque  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 16, 1950 with Fred MacMurray reprising his film role. See more »


Mr. Jessup: The only trouble with the play is that it takes seven passes. They're only little passes, but there's seven of them.
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Fred MacMurray (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

A Dunce Away From The Gridiron
21 April 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In her memoirs Maureen O'Hara was not too kind to Father Was A Fullback dismissing it off hand as a stinker. It's not all that bad, not all that great either. At the point in time she was making Father Was A Fullback she was under contract to 20th Century Fox and doing a whole lot of bread and butter films like these, shot on a dime, that made money for the studio while Darryl F. Zanuck was giving prestige films to people like Linda Darnell and Gene Tierney. Maureen so wanted to get a prestige film at that time herself.

Seen today Father Was A Fullback has Fred MacMurray as a college football coach who's had a couple of really rotten years in the job and people are getting on his case. Chief among them is the officious Rudy Vallee who is a big mucky muck in the alumni and constantly offering advice on how MacMurray should do his job. I like his performance best in the film.

Of course as it turns out MacMurray should have stuck to football because he hasn't got a clue when it comes to being a father to teenage girl Betty Lynn and adolescent Natalie Wood. Betty Lynn who if you remember was Don Knotts's girl friend Betty Lou on the Andy Griffith Show later on, is the older girl who's got a bad case of Jan Brady. The boys just ain't interested she thinks. But Robert Reed would have NEVER handled the situation the way MacMurray does.

In fact that might have been what Maureen O'Hara finds wrong with the film. She has little to do here except criticize MacMurray for his bungling attempts to brighten his daughter's life.

A young gas jockey, Richard Tyler, inadvertently provides the solution to everyone's problems in Father Was A Fullback.

Sad to say though MacMurray does look like a dunce in this film away from the gridiron. It's an amusing enough film, just hardly near the top ten for any of the cast.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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