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Trouble Along the Way (1953)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sport  |  4 April 1953 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,073 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 14 critic

Struggling to retain custody of his daughter following his divorce, football coach Steve Williams finds himself embroiled in a recruiting scandal at the tiny Catholic college he is trying ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Alice Singleton
...
Father Burke
Tom Tully ...
Father Malone
...
Carol Williams
...
Anne Williams McCormick
...
Harold McCormick
...
Father Peterson
...
Father Provincial aka Ed
Douglas Spencer ...
Father Procurator aka George
Lester Matthews ...
Cardinal William Patrick O'Shea
...
Stan Schwegler
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Storyline

Struggling to retain custody of his daughter following his divorce, football coach Steve Williams finds himself embroiled in a recruiting scandal at the tiny Catholic college he is trying to bring back to football respectability. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

That all-man "Quiet Man" has a new kind of dame to tame! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alma Mater  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's original title was "Alma Mater". See more »

Goofs

When Father Burke first announces his intention to solve the school's financial crisis, he says that his plan is in "Deuteromony" (rather than Deuteronomy), chapter 32, verse 15, a mispronunciation unlikely for a seasoned cleric. Additionally, when the others look it up, they read a paraphrase of an excerpt only, not the whole verse. See more »

Quotes

Father Burke: You'll find the answer in Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, Verse 15.
[the other priests look at one another]
Father Burke: Well, well? Is there a Bible in the house, or do you have to go to a hotel?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Anthony's Alma Mater Hymn
(uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Sung by a chorus during the opening credits and at the end
Played often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
surprisingly good little gem
17 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

I checked this out during a recent John Wayne retrospective on American Movie Classics because it sounded so different from the Duke's usual "w/w" fare (war & westerns). Here he plays Steve Williams, a disgraced professional football coach enlisted to build a revenue-producing team that will save a down-at-the-heels Catholic college from being forced to close. In the process he has to fight for custody of his daughter from a spiteful and vengeful ex-wife.

Wayne plays this role beautifully; his performance makes us aware of the fine actor he made of himself as he worked his way up over the years from those low-budget westerns, learning all along the way. Donna Reed puts in a turn as a social worker, and Charles Coburn is in his usual fine fettle as Father Burke, rector of the failing college. Wayne/William's daughter is played very well by a young lady named Sherry Jackson, and there are many familiar faces among the character actors in the cast. Chuck Connors makes one of his earliest screen appearances here.

The pacing is good, and the story keeps us involved. These are all interesting people, and we want to find out what happens to them. The script is intelligent, gritty, and extremely witty in many places. Also notable is a very on-the-money portrayal of the corrupting influence of big-time athletics at the college level, as Wayne/Williams pulls many shady tricks to field a team that can stand up to the ridiculously ambitious schedule that Father Burke manages to finagle. The commentary is even more relevant today, fifty years later, as college athletics have spun almost completely out of control.

One of the nicest things about the movie is the way in which, surprisingly, it does not opt for the easy-way-out happy ending that we all think we see coming as soon as Donna Reed as the social worker comes on the scene. The film is brave enough to leave things a bit unresolved.

Altogether an off-beat, intriguing, well-made, well-written, well-acted and thoroughly enjoyable little "sleeper" that is well worth your while.


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