19 user 5 critic

Pigskin Parade (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Sport | 23 October 1936 (USA)
Married coaches Slug and Bessie find hillbilly football tosser Amos and the team gets invited to the Yale Bowl.


David Butler


Harry Tugend (screenplay), Jack Yellen (screenplay) | 4 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Stuart Erwin ... Amos Dodd
Patsy Kelly ... Bessie Winters
Jack Haley ... Slug Winters
The Yacht Club Boys The Yacht Club Boys ... Singing Quartette
Johnny Downs ... Chip Carson
Betty Grable ... Laura Watson
Arline Judge ... Sally Saxon
Dixie Dunbar ... Ginger Jones
Judy Garland ... Sairy Dodd
Tony Martin ... Tommy Barker (as Anthony Martin)
Fred Kohler Jr. ... Biff Bentley
Grady Sutton ... Mortimer Higgins
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Herbert Van Dyke
Edward J. Nugent ... Sparks (as Eddie Nugent)
Julius Tannen ... Dr. Burke


Bessie and Winston "Slug" Winters are married coaches whose mission is to whip their college football team into shape. Just in time, they discover a hillbilly farmhand and his sister. But the hillbilly farmhand's ability to throw melons enables him to become their star passing ace. Written by Shawn Ashley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


With a cast picked for entertainment! See more »


Comedy | Musical | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der springende Punkt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film has two oddly prophetic connections to the late The Wizard of Oz (1939). It features both Judy Garland and Jack Haley, who would later become Dorothy and the Tin Man. Also, Haley's line "I haven't got a brain" presages the theme song for his "Oz" co-star Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow). See more »


When the couples are dancing on the field at the end, Amos is wearing his socks and cleats. He would not have had time to find them by now in the snow and mud, much less put them on. See more »


Slug Winters: We haven't got a chance! We haven't got a chance!
Bessie Winters: You haven't got a brain either.
Slug Winters: I haven't got a brain... What are you doing here?
See more »


Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »


The Balboa
Lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell
Music by Lew Pollack
Sung by Judy Garland and cast
Danced by Dixie Dunbar and cast
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best LOUSY Hollywood musicals I've seen.
23 June 2008 | by Rob-120See all my reviews

"Pigskin Parade" only has one thing wrong with it. It's kind of lousy. But as far as musicals go, it's a *good* kind of lousy.

I've seen Hollywood musicals that bored the hell out of me. I've seen musicals where the songs were lifeless and dull, and the musical numbers put you to sleep. I've seen musicals where the acting in between the musical numbers was sheer cinematic torture. I've seen musicals where the performers seemed to be sleepwalking through the movie, and where the characters they were playing were so brain-dead and annoying that you just wanted to whack 'em upside the head with a tube sock full of wood screws! "Pigskin Parade" is silly and corny, but it is never boring. The musical numbers are not great, but they are always fun to watch. The characters are stereotypes, but the cast plays them with such enthusiasm that you can't help liking them.

The plot: Bessie and Winston "Slug" Winters (Patsy Kelly and Jack "Tin Man" Haley) arrive at Texas State University to coach the football team. Although they spend most of the movie arguing with each other in Ralph-and-Alice-Kramden mode, they make an effective coaching team. Their big success comes when they discover Amos Dodd (Stuart Erwin), a country bumpkin farmer who can hurl a melon with missile-like accuracy. They immediately sign him up as the new quarterback for the football team.

Texas State is mistakenly invited to play in a charity football game against Yale. (They wanted the University of Texas, but sent the invitation for the game to the wrong university.) Will the Texas State team win the game? Will Amos Dodd score a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of play? What do you think? This is one of those "college musicals" where all the college students look as if they are about thirty years old. Most of the songs are sung by a nutty quartet of "sophomores," played by the Yacht Club Boys. They look old enough to be visiting their kids at the college on Parents Day. (One of them even admits that he has been in college for seven years -- beating John Belushi to the movie line by 42 years.) The musical numbers are not great, but they are a lot of fun to watch. There is one called "You're Slightly Terrific," which pretty much describes the entire soundtrack. The songs are "slightly terrific," but not overly so.

The songs written and sung by the Yacht Club Boys have a great satirical edge to them. They sing "We'd Rather Be In College," in which they admit that, with the Depression raging, they are better off in college than they would be in the current job market; "Down With Everything," a *wonderful*, vigorous musical number that satirizes college revolutionaries, sung to a would-be college Trotsky. And "We Brought The Texas Sunshine With Us," which the Yacht Club Boys sing in the middle of a snowstorm at the Yale football game.

And then there is Judy Garland in her feature film debut, playing Amos Dodd's country-bumpkin sister. The first time we see her in the movie, she is barely recognizable, wearing overalls and sporting pigtails, and using a phony Texas accent. ("Hey, yuh wanna buy a melon?") Within a few scenes, however, she has been transformed (offscreen) into a college girl/young starlet. In her first few scenes, she tells everybody, "I can sing. Wannuh hear me?" It takes a few scenes before someone lets her sing -- and *dammit,* can she ever sing! Her first big-screen musical number is the tail-end of the song, "The Balboa!"--a rather rocky (har!) college dance number, sung at the TSU Homecoming Dance. ("The Balboa" was no "Carioca" or "Continental," although it tried to be.) From there, she sings "The Texas Tornado" and "It's Love I'm After." And if you saw this movie in 1936, you just *had* to know that Judy was going to be a major star! To quote the great Roger Ebert, "I cannot recommend the movie, but ... why the hell can't I? Just because it's godawful? What kind of reason is that for staying away from a movie? Godawful and boring, *that* would be a reason." Well, I *could* recommend "Pigskin Parade." It's not exactly "godawful," but it *is* lousy. But despite the lousiness, you will have a good time watching it. You won't love it the way you love "Wizard of Oz" or "Singing in the Rain." But you will like it -- as long as you accept the lousiness of the movie and go with it.

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