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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:
... George Jonas
... Gracie
... Mabel Grady
... Bud Brady
... Hubert Dash
... Ginna Ashburn
... Ben Volt
... Betty
... Jackie
... Martin Bates
... Dean Sleet
... Radio Announcer
Skinnay Ennis ... Skinnay - Orchestra Leader
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
See  »

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 »


Irish Washerwoman
traditional Irish Jig
Danced by Gracie Allen (at the end of "You're A Natural")
See more »

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User Reviews

Catchy songs, enthusiastic cast hold together loose plot
21 March 2012 | by See all my reviews

It's 1738, and schoolmaster Edward Everett Horton tells dimwitted student Gracie Allen (as a character named Gracie Alden) that he doubts if she could get her diploma in one hundred years. She is not discouraged: "Well, perhaps not that suddenly, doctor, but in 200 years I'll wager I couldst." --Fast forward to 1938, and a descendant—also named Gracie—is attempting once again to pass the graduation examination from Alden College.

Fast-talking agent Bob Hope has convinced Gracie to hire him as a tutor of sorts; as his fee depends on her successfully graduating, Hope naturally sets out to prepare her for the exam…by stealing a copy of the test questions.

Martha Raye is on hand as a would-be professor with a ridiculous phony French accent. She and Hope quickly strike up a romance and the chemistry between the two lights up their scenes together.

Soon enough, Edward Everett Horton returns to the action, this time around as an eccentric millionaire whose fear of women has kept him as far from civilization as possible. He is back at Alden College to monitor Gracie's exam and is accompanied by wry assistant George Burns.

George and Gracie have a good scene together during the examination: "What is it that runs across the floor like a goldfish?" she asks. (We never find out the answer.) Gracie also has some sweet scenes with Horton, who is charmed by her in spite of himself and his woman-phobia.

John Payne and Florence George play the handsome young romantic couple (and sing "What Did Romeo Say to Juliet?"). Betty Grable and Skinnay Ennis supply some swinging tunes and a great dance ("College Swing"). Hope and Raye also do a great duet—"How'dja Like To Love Me" is cute, bouncy, and really sweet, a highlight of the picture.

All in all, it's not much of a plot, but who cares? The songs are catchy and the entire cast is so much fun to watch: Hope is at his sharpest. Edward Everett Horton is perfect. Gracie is hilarious, Grable is lovely, and Raye is in superb voice. And that's not even mentioning supporting bits from Ben Blue as a mischievous "gym instructor," or the Slate Brothers as singing-and-dancing waiters. (Their "I'm tired" bit is another highlight.)

Mostly just silly stuff—but what fun.

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