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Trouble Along the Way (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 4 April 1953 (USA)
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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
...
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 | Romance | 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

Sherry Jackson's character Carol issues the quote "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!", which many years before became indelibly associated with Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s. See more »

Goofs

Steve says "Watermelon bottom and her daughter." The daughter was the one the kids called Watermelon bottom. See more »

Quotes

Steve Aloysius Williams: What do you know about love? I think love is watching your child go off to school for the first time alone... sitting beside a sick kid's bed waiting for the doctor, praying it isn't polio... or that cold chill you get when you hear the screech of brakes, and know your kid's outside on the street some place... and a lot of other things you get can't get out of books, 'cause nobody knows how to write 'em down.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remember the Titans (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played when Father Burke reads to Carol
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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