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Swing It Professor (1937)

A music professor is fired from his job for not knowing enough about modern "swing" music. He goes to Chicago to learn more about the subject in hopes of getting his job back, but he winds up getting mixed up with gangsters.


Marshall Neilan


Connie Lee (story suggested by), Nicholas T. Barrows (adaptation) (as Nicholas H. Barrows) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Pinky Tomlin ... Professor Artemis J. Roberts
Paula Stone ... Teddy Ross
Milburn Stone ... Lou Morgan
Mary Kornman ... Joan Dennis
Bill Elliott ... Randall (as Gordon Elliott)
Pat Gleason Pat Gleason ... Toby Brickhead
The Gentle Maniacs The Gentle Maniacs ... The Gentle Maniacs
Four Squires Four Squires ... The Four Squires
Ralph Peters ... Beaver
George Cleveland ... Dean
Harry Depp Harry Depp ... Trustee
Harry Semels Harry Semels ... Angelo
Four Singing Tramps Four Singing Tramps ... The Four Singing Tramps
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Clark Tom Clark ... Member of Singing Tramps
Paul 'Mousie' Garner ... Member, The Gentlemaniacs


A music professor is fired from his job for not knowing enough about modern "swing" music. He goes to Chicago to learn more about the subject in hopes of getting his job back, but he winds up getting mixed up with gangsters.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Musical







Release Date:

13 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Swing It, Buddy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast on New York City's pioneer television station W2XBS Wednesday 20 September 1939. It is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Post-WWII television viewers got their first look at it on the East Coast Saturday 3 July 1948 on WATV (Channel 13), in Detroit Friday 19 November 1948 on WJBK (Channel 2), and on the West Coast, in Los Angeles, Wednesday 7 June 1950 on KECA (Channel 7). See more »


from "Lucia di Lammermoor"
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano
See more »

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User Reviews

Takes Off When Paula Stone Shows Up
1 June 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Ever hear of Pinky Tomlinson? He was a singer/songwriter who got his start thanks to Louis Armstrong. If you've watched an Our Gang short and tormented yourself with Alfalfa singing -- if that's the word, which it isn't -- "The Object of My Affection", then you've heard one of his songs. As the nominal lead of this Poverty Row musical, the next-to-last directed by the once-great Marshall Neilan, he makes it seem like they wanted Rudy Vallee, but had to settle for someone less dynamic.

Mr. Tomlinson is fired as a Professor of Music at his college because he doesn't know swing. He goes on the road and winds up in Chicago, where he winds up fronting as owner of a nightclub for Milburn Stone for the object of his affection, Paula Stone (in real life, they were cousins; she was the daughter of the great Fred Stone), who's accepting no favors. Tomlinson brings in his swing-deficient fiancee, Mary Kornman, and there's the usual sex-free sex conflict. There's also a major subplot of Bill Elliott as a competing gangster who thinks Tomlinson is a big, deadly mobster; and Tomlinson sings some songs written by other people.

Given all of these things and the usual Poverty Row values, there's nothing about this movie that should work except for two short dances by Miss Stone; she's dynamite. And, looking at the first fifteen minutes, which starts with a "comedy trio" that aspires to be the Ritz Brothers but lacks their intellectual complexity, and a Hooverville chorus of the Sextet from LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR accompanied by the ocarina, it looks pretty blah. Yet once you get past the minefield of that beginning, the movie finds its legs and becomes moderately entertaining.

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