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College Swing (1938)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 29 April 1938 (USA)
Gracie Alden tries to graduate on college to get an inheritance.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Sleet
Radio Announcer
Skinnay Ennis ...
Henry Slate ...
Hangout waiter (as The Slate Brothers)
Jack Slate ...
Hangout Waiter (as The Slate Brothers)


Gracie Alden tries to graduate on college to get an inheritance.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 April 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jazz Academia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over seven hundred Paramount Pictures productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was released on DVD March 5, 2002 in tandem with The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938) as part of the Bob Hope Tribute Collection, and again as a single October 30, 2015 as part of the Universal Vault Series. See more »


In the "You're a Natural" number, as Gracie gets out of the car and continues to sing, two members of the crew can be glimpsed briefly in the reflection on the car door. See more »


Featured in The Love Goddesses (1965) See more »


I Fall In Love With You Every Day
Words by Frank Loesser
Music by Manning Sherwin
Copyright 1938 by Famous Music Corporation
Performed by Florence George and John Payne
See more »

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User Reviews

Fortunately, This Movie Has No Plot
16 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

To say that "College Swing" is a movie with no plot is an understatement. It barely has a scenario. Most of it is built around a "story idea." But in this case, the fact that is has no plot is a good thing.

The "story" (what there is of it) focuses on Gracie Alden (Gracie Allen), who will inherit Alden College, which was founded by her ancestors, if she can pass an exam and graduate after nine years as a student there. Of course, Gracie's doing her classic dumb-as-rocks-girl comedy routine that she did so well.

When she passes the exam through sheer luck, Gracie sets about making "Gracie"-like changes at the college. ("I'm going to appoint myself as the new Dean of Boys." "But the Dean of Boys is someone who watches the boys at the school, and looks after them." "Exactly. I'm an expert at watching the boys.")

The movie is a rapid-fire mashup of comedy sketches, musical numbers, and Big Band "Swing" dances strung together over 86 minutes. It moves quickly from sketch to song to dance number, as if it's afraid the plot will catch up with it. But the lack of plot is an advantage with this type of movie. If they stopped the routines long enough to develop the plot, it would probably get boring.

As usual, George Burns is on hand to give Gracie her college exam, and to feed her the straight lines, and Bob Hope serves as Gracie's tutor. The cast also includes Edward Everett Horton as the college's stuffy benefactor; Martha Raye as a "love professor" who takes up with Hope; Ben Blue as an inept Phys. Ed. professor; Jerry Colonna as a music professor; John Payne ("Miracle on 34th Street") and opera singer Florence George as the "Young Lovers" stock characters; and the Slate Brothers (a "Three Stooges" comedy group) as a trio of bumbling waiters at the local college hangout (which is called, what else, "The Hangout"). Skinnay Ennis and his band provide the "Swing" music, and Betty Grable and Jackie Coogan (who were married at this time) do the "Swing" numbers. It's a pretty routine film, meant to capitalize on the "Swing" craze. It's not very memorable, but at least, it never gets boring.

"College Swing" was an attempt to capitalize on the "Swing" dance craze, which was popular with college kids in the late 1930s. (Hollywood is still doing this today, with movies like the "High School Musical," "Pitch Perfect," and "Step Up" series.) If you enjoy 1930s comedy and "Swing" music, you'll like this one. It's not a very good movie, but at least it's entertaining, and never dull.

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