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Varsity Show (1937)

Approved | | Musical | 4 September 1937 (USA)
Winfield College students who are trying to put together the annual varsity show come into conflict with their faculty adviser, a stodgy old professor whose ideas are hopelessly out of date... See full summary »


William Keighley


Jerry Wald (screen play), Richard Macaulay (screen play) | 4 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Powell ... Charles 'Chuck' Daly
Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians ... Fred Waring Orchestra
Ted Healy ... William Williams
Rosemary Lane ... Barbara 'Babs' Steward
Priscilla Lane ... Betty Bradley
Walter Catlett ... Professor Sylvester Biddle
Johnnie Davis ... Buzz Bolton (as Johnny Davis)
Ford Washington Lee Ford Washington Lee ... Buck (as Buck)
John William Sublett ... Bubbles (as Bubbles)
Fred Waring ... Ernie Mason
Sterling Holloway ... Trout
Mabel Todd ... Cuddles
Scotty Bates Scotty Bates ... Scotty
George MacFarland George MacFarland ... Hap
Poley McClintock ... Poley


Winfield College students who are trying to put together the annual varsity show come into conflict with their faculty adviser, a stodgy old professor whose ideas are hopelessly out of date, and who won't even let the new "swing" music be played in the show. They decide to get ahold of a former student who is now a big Broadway star and have him direct their show. What they don't know is that this "star's" last three shows were big flops. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


IT'S THE CHEER LEADER OF ALL SCREEN MUSICALS! (original ad - all caps) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aprenda a Sorrir See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print) | (re-release) (edited)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Priscilla Lane. See more »


Referenced in Have You Got Any Castles? (1938) See more »


Boola Boola
(1900) (uncredited)
Written by Allan M. Hirsch
Adapted from "La Hoola Boola" (1898)
Written by Bob Cole and Billy Johnson
Played and Sung by Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians in a medley of football songs in the finale
See more »

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User Reviews

Underrated Solid Musical Comedy
2 July 2010 | by jayraskin1See all my reviews

This is not "Gold diggers of 1933" or "Footlight Parade," but it is a competent and fun musical. While not an "A" picture, it is a solid "B." There may not be anything great here, but everything is loud, energetic and good. There are many small delights for people willing to look

This was directed by William Keighley between two excellent Errol Flynn movies that he directed: "The Prince and the Pauper" and "Adventures of Robin Hood". He also did directed two fine James Cagney movies, "G Men" and "Each Dawn I Die". He also did the classic comedy, "The Man Who Came to Dinner" The movie has a bunch of fine second bananas, Walter Catlett, Sterling Holloway and Ted Healey. Catlett had bit parts in many classic comedies, for example, "Bringing up Baby" and "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" He was a much in demand actor doing 50 films between 1940 and 1944, getting 6th-10th billing in almost all of them. Adorable Sterling Holloway adds his nice spaecy bits. Even Ted Healey, who is associated with the Three Stooges comes off well. He played the leader of the Three Stooges, a part that the Moe Fine took over when they split up. In the movie, he is referred to as a stooge and he plays the part convincingly.

This is the first movie for Priscilla and Rosemary Lane. There older sister, Lola, had been a star for eight years by this. All three sisters would continue to make movies for about ten more years. While I'm unfamiliar with Rosemary Lane's films, Priscilla was in at least three classics, "Arsenic and Old Lace" "The Roaring Twenties" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Saboteur. Both sisters are delightful here.

George Washington Lee and William Sublett as Buck and Bubbles do a couple of wonderful dance routines.

The finale is by Busby Berkeley. While people are right to point out that this football number is not one of his best, even average Busby Berkeley is better than most musical numbers by anybody else.

Overall, the movie doesn't dazzle, but it zips along, brightens the day and puts a smile on your face. I would love to see the missing 40 minutes.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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