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Life Begins in College (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Music, Sport | 1 October 1937 (USA)
When a wealthy Indian student endows the college so they can keep the football coach rumor has it the Indian has played professionally and can't be on the team.


William A. Seiter


Karl Tunberg (screenplay), Darrell Ware (based on a series of magazine stories by) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Ritz ... Al Ritz
Harry Ritz ... Harry Ritz
Jimmy Ritz ... Jimmy Ritz
Joan Davis ... Inez
Tony Martin ... Band Leader
Gloria Stuart ... Janet O'Hara
Fred Stone ... Coach Tim O'Hara
Nat Pendleton ... George Black aka Little Black Cloud
Dick Baldwin ... Bob Hayner
Joan Marsh ... Cuddles
Jed Prouty ... Oliver Stearns Sr.
Maurice Cass Maurice Cass ... Dean Moss
Ed Thorgersen Ed Thorgersen ... Radio Announcer
Marjorie Weaver ... Miss Murphy
Robert Lowery ... Sling


When a wealthy Indian student endows the college so they can keep the football coach rumor has it the Indian has played professionally and can't be on the team.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life Begins in College See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Gloria Stuart took time in the middle of filming to meet with Ray Pearl. He was a huge fan of Gloria Stuart and had gotten his uncle to tattoo her portrait on his chest. He then hitch hiked from Chicago to Hollywood to meet her and show her his tattoo. She did agree to meet with him and was quoted by Life magazine, who covered and photographed their meeting as saying, "Oh my gracious" when she saw the tattoo. See more »


Why Talk About Love?
Music by Lew Pollack
Lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell
See more »

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User Reviews

First starring vehicle for The Ritz Brothers
5 August 2017 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1937's "Life Begins in College" was the fifth feature film for the popular Ritz Brothers, but the first to offer them top billing, a shame since it must rank near the bottom of all their films. To modern viewers the story of a Jim Thorpe-type athlete of Native American heritage who becomes the star quarterback for the aging coach of Lombardy College (Fred Stone, Milburn's uncle) comes off as almost entirely humorless, weak material coupled with appalling musical numbers. Nat Pendleton does what he can as the Indian George Black, but it's an uphill battle from the start, crashing his motorcycle at top speed, being hazed by fraternity brothers, and finally joining up with campus tailors the Ritz Brothers, who have spent seven years in their shop before scoring their first customer. George turns out to be extremely wealthy, courtesy Oklahoma oil wells, and the Ritzes use his money to maintain the coach who was forced to resign, his daughter (Gloria Stuart) being romanced in dreadful fashion by the team's quarterback (Dick Baldwin), taking a seat on the bench when George proves the superior player. Later vehicles would offer the boys better opportunities than this turkey, for even the hugely talented Joan Davis is let down by her lone number, chasing after her Indian until he finally relents, to her chagrin. Small roles on the team for familiar faces like Elisha Cook and Robert Lowery, with Lon Chaney Jr. making a very brief appearance in the final moments as the bench warming Gilks, who can't get into the big game with the Ritz Brothers on the verge of losing. This appears to be the last time that Chaney adorned a football feature, after roles in "Girl O' My Dreams," "Hold 'Em Yale," "Accent on Youth," and "Rose Bowl." Those game highlights are the only spark to the entire film, a look back at the early days with the single wing offense, soon to be supplanted by the T-formation that earned the Chicago Bears a 73-0 championship rout of the Washington Redskins in 1940.

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