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The Spirit of Culver (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 10 March 1939 (USA)


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A family setting out for a new life across the sea is shipwrecked on a deserted island. The family members collaborate to create a home for themselves in the jungle environment.

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Complete credited cast:
Jackie Cooper ... Tom Allen
Freddie Bartholomew ... Bob Randolph
Andy Devine ... Tubby
Henry Hull ... Doc Allen
Jackie Moran ... Perkins
Tim Holt ... Capt. Wilson
Gene Reynolds ... Carruthers
Kathryn Kane ... June Macy
Walter Tetley Walter Tetley ... Hank
Pierre Watkin ... Capt. Wharton
John Hamilton ... Maj. White


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Plot Keywords:

remake | See All (1) »


Through Struggle, Heartach, Laughter, They Learned to Live American! (Print Ad- Binghamton Press, (( Binghamton, NY)) 25 March 1939)










Release Date:

10 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Espírito Heróico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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?


Tim Holt playing Capt. Wilson, the senior class officer & mentor to the plebes, was actually a cadet at Culver Military Academy in high school. Hal Roach Jr. was his roommate. See more »


Remake of Tom Brown of Culver (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

About What You'd Expect
30 May 2014 | by MaliejandraSee all my reviews

It's the Depression; we're greeted with scenes of men and kids jumping from train to train, standing in breadlines trying to get by. These kids are tough, world-weary brats with smart mouths but good hearts underneath. Jackie Cooper stands in line for soup and bread and gets himself a job working with Tubby (Andy Devine) as a dishwasher. What he lacks in manners he makes up for in hard work, and soon Tubby learns that this kid is Doc Allen's son, a medic he knew during the war. Tom (Cooper) carries his father's medal around, "But you can't eat it," he says. Tubby's respect for Doc Allen leads him to get Tom a scholarship to go to Culver, a military school where he can excel.

Tom takes time to warm up to the other kids, especially his roommate Bob (Freddie Bartholomew) but when he does he does wholeheartedly and soon he's a "gee whiz"-saying, uniform-wearing, cake-sharing member of the gang. And then Doc Allen shows up looking dazed and hungry to Tubby's station, and a wrench is thrown in the whole set-up.

If you like child stars and MGM's brand of idealism, you'll love this movie. It isn't a classic but it isn't bad, and it features some great stars.

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