Clifton Webb recreates his Sitting Pretty role as Mr. Lynn Belvedere, the World's Greatest Genius. Belvedere discovers that he is ineligible for an honorary award because he never attended ... See full summary »
Clifton Webb recreates his Sitting Pretty role as Mr. Lynn Belvedere, the World's Greatest Genius. Belvedere discovers that he is ineligible for an honorary award because he never attended college. So he enrolls as a freshman in a major university, becoming the target for "hazing" from obnoxious upper class-man Alan Young. The middle-aged Belvedere rapidly builds himself into Big Man on Campus, which complicates his intention of remaining incognito while attending college. Journalism major Shirley Temple likewise threatens to blow Belvedere's cover by writing an article about him for a major magazine. Before earning his college degree (four years' worth of study in six months!), Belvedere plays Cupid for Temple and her estranged boyfriend Tom Drake. Mr. Belvedere Goes to College proved successful enough for a follow-up film, 1951's Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell. Written by
Hal Erickson, Rovi
It s especially significant that this is the first and only time Shirley Temple returned to 20th Century Fox after her reign as the studio's top child star. She is very appealing in this film. This proves that they could, and should, have groomed her for juvenile leads.
As for Clifton Webb, who plays the title character, his performance is very multi-dimensional. When the police think he is a peeping tom and he is crawling through windows-- hiding out in the halls inside Shirley's apartment building-- it reminds this writer of Waldo Lydecker from Laura. There is a creepiness and danger that he brings to some of these scenes that is both disturbing and fascinating.
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