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Idol of the Crowds (1937)

Johnny Hanson wants to make enough money to enlarge his chicken farm. He does this through hockey. Gangsters get involved in trying to get him to throw a championship game, even lining up a woman to help steer him their way.

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(story "Hell on Ice"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Johnny Hanson
... Helen Dale
... Jack Irwin
... Bobby (as Billy Burrud)
Jane Johns ... Peggy
... Harvey Castle
Frank Otto ... Joe Garber
... Kelly
Hal Neiman ... Squat Bates
... Mrs. Dale
... Spike Regan
... Andy Moore (as Clem Bevins)
Wayne Castle ... Swifty Hanson
Lloyd Ford ... Hank
Lee Ford ... Elmer Hanson
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Storyline

Retired hockey player Johnny Hansen, in order to make money to enlarge his chicken farm, returns to the game and leads his team into the championship series. Just before the series starts, he is offered a bribe to throw the games but refuses. An attempt is made on his life which results in Bobby, the team's mascot, being injured. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Drama | Romance | Sport

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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

30 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hell on Ice  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Longfellow Deeds On Ice
28 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

Idol of the Crowds casts John Wayne as a young chicken farmer from Maine who comes from a small town that looks suspiciously like Mandrake Falls where Gary Cooper as Longfellow Deeds hailed from. I've no doubt that George Waggner who wrote the story and screenplay and later directed the Duke in The Fighting Kentuckian and a personal favorite of mine, Operation Pacific was very much influenced by Mr. Deeds Goes to Town when he did this B film for Wayne and Universal.

This film was one of a series of six that Wayne did for Universal from 1936-1937 where he was trying to expand his image from simply being a B picture cowboy. Those films are rarely seen today, one of them Adventure's End, is considered lost.

Though I think that some of them were a cut above the B films Wayne was doing for Lone Star Productions at the time, this isn't one of them. The Duke really doesn't cut it as a hockey player, he was so much better as a football player in College Coach, a football coach in Trouble Along the Way or a boxer in The Quiet Man. Then again he's positively graceful on skates next to James Stewart in Ice Follies of 1939.

Wayne who just wants to have the biggest and best chicken farm in the state of Maine, signs with a professional hockey team to make enough money to do just that. Younger brother Billy Burrud goes along with him to the big city and becomes the team mascot.

Of course Duke runs afoul of gamblers who offer him big money to throw the championship series. And there's the romance with Sheila Bromley which plays a lot like Jean Arthur and Gary Cooper.

But if you're dealing with either John Wayne or Gary Cooper you know very well how things will work out.

Could it be that John and Sheila did get married and eventually raise three strapping misfit Hanson sons who went on to play hockey for the Charlestown Chiefs and Paul Newman?


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