IMDb > She's Working Her Way Through College (1952)
She's Working Her Way Through College
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She's Working Her Way Through College (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Peter Milne (screenplay)
James Thurber (play) ...
View company contact information for She's Working Her Way Through College on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 July 1952 (USA) See more »
This is a story with a lot of twists! See more »
A burlesque dancer goes to college, where she romances a professor and helps put on a musical show. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(4 articles)
Patrice Wymore obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 25 March 2014, 2:17 PM, PDT)

Phyllis Thaxter obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 17 August 2012, 4:07 PM, PDT)

Phyllis Thaxter, 'Superman' actress, dies at 90
 (From Pop2it. 15 August 2012, 6:13 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Technicolor Magic set to music and dancing See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Virginia Mayo ... Angela Gardner / 'Hot Garters Gertie'

Ronald Reagan ... Professor John Palmer

Gene Nelson ... Don Weston

Don DeFore ... Shep Slade

Phyllis Thaxter ... Helen Palmer

Patrice Wymore ... 'Poison' Ivy Williams

Roland Winters ... Fred Copeland

Raymond Greenleaf ... Dean Rogers
Ginger Crowley ... Lonnie - Ivy's Friend

Norman Bartold ... 'Tiny' Gordon
Ramon Blackburn ... Specialty Dancer (as The Blackburn Twins)
Royce Blackburn ... Specialty Dancer (as The Blackburn Twins)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jimmy Ames ... Man in Burlesque Theatre Box (uncredited)
Bette Arlen ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Jessie Arnold ... Wardrobe Woman (uncredited)

Edward Clark ... Stage Doorman (uncredited)
Larry Craig ... Student (uncredited)
Louis Cutelli ... Square (uncredited)

Bess Flowers ... Guest at Musical Show (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Professor (uncredited)
Patricia Hawks ... Co-ed (uncredited)
F. Herrick Herrick ... Professor (uncredited)

Chuck Hicks ... Football Player (uncredited)
Danny Jackson ... Boy (uncredited)

Michael Jeffers ... Trustee (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Vendor in Theatre (uncredited)

Phyllis Kirk ... Co-ed (uncredited)
Peggy Leon ... 2nd Wife (uncredited)

Sylvia Lewis ... Ensemble Dancer (uncredited)
Ray Linn Jr. ... Senator (uncredited)
Fay Lively ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mark Lowell ... Sailor (uncredited)
Charles Marsh ... Charlie the Stage Manager (uncredited)
Paul Maxey ... Man Getting Off Elevator (uncredited)
George Meader ... A Professor (uncredited)
Malcolm Mealey ... Hep Boy (uncredited)

Eve Miller ... Copeland's Secretary (uncredited)
Roland Morris ... Hep Boy (uncredited)

Julie Newmar ... Julie - Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Jimmy Ogg ... Sailor (uncredited)

Sarah Padden ... Wardrobe Woman at Burlesque Theatre (uncredited)
John Perri ... Dancer as Tramp (uncredited)
Lonnie Pierce ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Amanda Randolph ... Maybelle (uncredited)
Richard Reeves ... Mike (uncredited)
Felice Richmond ... Professor's Wife (uncredited)
Donna Ring ... Co-ed (uncredited)
Barbara Ritchi ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Hope Sansberry ... Mrs. Rogers (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell ... Man in Burlesque Theatre Box (uncredited)
Hazel Shaw ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Henrietta Taylor ... Mrs. Copeland (uncredited)
Glen Turnbull ... Dancer as Tramp (uncredited)

Lucille Vance ... Professor's Wife (uncredited)
Valerie Vernon ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Charles Watts ... Man Getting Off Elevator (uncredited)
Bob Whitney ... Trustee (uncredited)
Bonnie Lou Williams ... Angela Gardner / 'Hot Garters Gertie' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Charles Williams ... Waiter (uncredited)
Jack Wise ... Man in Burlesque Audience (uncredited)
Peggy Wynne ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Frances Zucco ... Co-ed (uncredited)

Directed by
H. Bruce Humberstone  (as Bruce Humberstone)
Writing credits
Peter Milne (screenplay)

James Thurber (play) and
Elliott Nugent (play)

Produced by
William Jacobs .... producer
Cinematography by
Wilfred M. Cline 
Film Editing by
Clarence Kolster 
Art Direction by
Charles H. Clarke 
Set Decoration by
G.W. Berntsen 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Don Alvarado .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles David Forrest .... sound (as David Forrest)
Leslie G. Hewitt .... sound
Francis J. Scheid .... sound (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marjorie Best .... wardrobe
Travilla .... wardrobe
Music Department
Ray Heindorf .... musical director
Norman Luboff .... vocal arrangements
LeRoy Prinz .... musical numbers staged and directed by
Bonnie Lou Williams .... singing voice: Virginia Mayo (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Hal Derwin .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Mitchell Kovaleski .... technicolor color consultant
Herman Shumlin .... producer: stage play
Michael Curtiz .... fill-in director (uncredited)
Bob Whitney .... stand-in: Ronald Reagan ) (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
104 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Not Rated (DVD Rating) | USA:TV-G (tv rating)

Did You Know?

Virginia Mayo's favorite of her own movies.See more »
Prof. John Palmer:I thought we'd cleared these parts of all wildlife.
Angela Gardner:Wolves with crew haircuts. One senior, one sophomore.
Prof. John Palmer:Ah, the campus variety. Known scientifically as Lupus boola-boola.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Spies Like Us (1985)See more »
As Time Goes BySee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Technicolor Magic set to music and dancing, 5 July 2014
Author: daneldorado from United States

Imbibition Technicolor, the most perfect method of adding color to film, was at its glorious apotheosis when the Warner Bros. musical "She's Working Her Way Through College," came along in 1952. Let the words of one of the men who worked on the process, Don Berry, inform us:

"The results were striking. No other color process – notably the cheap processes of Eastman Kodak – could even come remotely close to achieving the vibrant, saturated look of IB (imbibition) Technicolor."

With musical films, especially, looking for a prism through which to display their charms, the wedding of Technicolor and "She's Working Her Way Through College" was a match made in cinematic heaven.

Elsewhere, you may read that this musical was an inferior version of the Warner Bros. 1942 drama (in black and white), "The Male Animal." The names of James Thurber and Elliott Nugent, writers of the 1942 movie, do appear in the credits of "She's Working…" but the musical uses only a few of the former film's lines. . . and it has a great foundation, hummable tunes, and that wonderful Technicolor going for it.

Briefly: "She's Working Her Way Through College" starring Virginia Mayo, Ronald Reagan, and Gene Nelson, is a delight from the first scene on. Reagan plays John Palmer, a college professor who's doing dramatic research; and at one of the theaters he visits, he sees a rousing and colorful production number starring a burlesque queen (played winningly by the beautiful Ms. Mayo). Reagan doesn't remember her at first, but she remembers him as her high school teacher. They meet in her dressing room and she learns that her former teacher is now a professor at a small college, Midwest State. Ms. Mayo decides to quit the theater and enroll in his college.

Once at Midwest State, Ms. Mayo receives a lot of wolf whistles from the male students, but responds only with smiles. She meets Don Weston (Gene Nelson), who is quarterback of the football team, but is also a terrific singer and dancer. Together they co-write a musical play for the school to present at one of the better theaters in town, and give their classmates a sneak performance right in their classroom. Professor Palmer has no objections, and is in fact drawn into the performance. The Mayo-Nelson routine is a winner, to the song "I'll be Loving You" by Sammy Cahn and Vernon Duke.

In all, the production of "She's Working Her Way Through College" is a delight. And those who criticize it as an inferior "The Male Animal" need to look again. The two films are ages apart… and "The Male Animal," whatever its virtues, lacks the effervescent and vivid hues afforded by the Technicolor palette.

By Dan Navarro --

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