6 user 2 critic

The Gladiator (1938)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | 15 August 1938 (USA)
A man returns to college and is talked into joining he football team and is a real joke on the team, until he is given a drug that gives him super strength.


Edward Sedgwick


Charlie Melson (screenplay), Arthur Sheekman (screenplay) | 4 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Joe E. Brown ... Hugo Kipp
June Travis ... Iris Bennett
Man Mountain Dean Man Mountain Dean ... Man Mountain Dean
Dickie Moore ... Bobby
Lucien Littlefield ... Professor Abner Danner
Robert Kent ... Tom Dixon
Ethel Wales ... Mrs. Danner
Donald Douglas ... Coach Robbins


A man returns to college and is talked into joining he football team and is a real joke on the team, until he is given a drug that gives him super strength.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Watch him run up the biggest roar score of the season! (original print ad) See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Gladiator namens Hugo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The novel on which this film was based was reputedly one of the principal inspirations for the creation of Superman, who made his first appearance the same year. See more »


On To Victory
Written by Walter G. Samuels and Charles Newman
Performed by Joe E. Brown and June Travis
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange combination of material
11 December 2006 | by bthomasSee all my reviews

Although a complete diversion from the landmark novel, it's not fair to judge this comedy on the basis that it's not faithful. As it stands, it's a decent B-movie comedy for Brown, who was a much bigger star - mostly due to his radio work - than anyone remembers today. Surprisingly, there is a bit of Wylie left in the story, as Brown is at first elated by his powers, but is later disturbed by them.

This comedy feature not only completely converts a section of Wylie's novel into a comedy, but some material is borrowed from Harold Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN. Most notably, there's the scene where Brown tries out for the team and stands in for the tackling dummy.

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