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The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 14 August 1953 (USA)
Grainbelt University has one attraction for Dobie Gillis - women, especially Pansy Hammer. Pansy's father, even though and maybe because she says she's in dreamville, does not share her ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story)

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Complete credited cast:
Pansy Hammer
Bobby Van ...
Barbara Ruick ...
Lorna Ellingboe
Charlie Trask
Hanley Stafford ...
George Hammer
Mrs. Eleanor Hammer
Professor Amos Pomfritt
Chemistry Professor Obispo
Archer MacDonald ...
Harry Dorcas
'Happy Stella' Kowalski
Almira Sessions ...
Aunt Naomi


Grainbelt University has one attraction for Dobie Gillis - women, especially Pansy Hammer. Pansy's father, even though and maybe because she says she's in dreamville, does not share her affection for Dobie. An English essay which almost revolutionizes English instruction, and Dobie's role in a chemistry lab explosion convinces Mr. Hammer he is right. Pansy is sent off broken-hearted to an Eastern school, but with the help of Happy Stella Kolawski's all-girl band, several hundred students and an enraged police force, Dobie secures Pansy's return to Grainbelt. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


IT'S M-G-M's LOVE-HAPPY, YOUTHFUL MUSICAL! (original print ad - all caps)


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Casanova Junior  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lurene Tuttle plays the mother of Debbie Reynolds, as she also does in Give a Girl a Break (1953). In real life, however, she was the mother of costar Barbara Ruick. See more »


References 40,000 Horsemen (1940) See more »


I'm Thru with Love
Music by Matty Malneck and Fud Livingston
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Performed by Bobby Van
See more »

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User Reviews

Debby Reynolds Sparkles, Bobby Van Sings, Bob Fosse Sings--A Nice Break From Life
2 January 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

My reviews often seem to be "in defense of" reviews after a group of reviews pan a movie, without really considering the genre. It is like reviewing a opera as bad when the standard being applied it a hip hop concert. Or something like that.

This movie is silly and lightweight. Folks break out singing and dancing all over the place, cuz it is an MGM musical. (I do ding it for being in black and white.)

The leads are Bobby Van and Debby Reynolds. They sing, they dance, they act as silly as can be. It is fun, it is very 50's. All is resolved in the end. It is cute. And you get to see Bob Fosse in his early days blowing everyone off of the screen with his dancing.

Great character actors abound, playing up their characters to the top, in a way that current film makers would never allow. I'm not saying I want to see lots of this kind of fluff, but as fluff it is pretty good. And the fantasy part makes me want to go back to the midwest and do college again. Well perhaps that is overstated.

Watch this to see the fun dance numbers and take a look at the Hollywood take on college in the 50's. It is a bit of an anthropological statement dressed up with some fun music. Sex,,,,Nope ya won't see that; but you do see the obsessional way that 18 year olds fall in love. And a movie that can capture that (as I remember it rather than with the rather bad parts of it) has its good moments.

Everyone is cute, everyone is white, everyone is straight (even though they sing and dance and write poetry an awful lot). If that is not you, ya got to take a bigger step or suspension of belief to become involved in the movie. The heavies are not that heavy, bad behavior is overlooked as youthful indiscretions. Looking at this view of idealized life and how it has changed in 50 years is interesting in itself. This is also one of the last of MGM's musicals. Bobby Van really did not adapt to the changing times, or at least studios did not see his potential for non-singing and dancing roles. That is a shame. Debby Reynolds is still working after the death of the musical, and Bob Fosse went stellar in spite of the death of the musical. They just kept making them for him (still do and he has been dead for about 15 years!). A good later nighter.

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