6.8/10
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20 user 11 critic

The Male Animal (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 4 April 1942 (USA)
Trailer
2:29 | Trailer

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It's Homecoming weekend at Midwestern University, the weekend which will culminate with the big game between Midwestern and Michigan. Homecoming marks the return for the first time in six ... See full summary »

Director:

Elliott Nugent

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Philip G. Epstein (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henry Fonda ... Tommy Turner
Olivia de Havilland ... Ellen Turner
Joan Leslie ... Patricia Stanley
Jack Carson ... Joe Ferguson
Eugene Pallette ... Ed Keller
Herbert Anderson ... Michael Barnes
Hattie McDaniel ... Cleota
Ivan F. Simpson ... Dean Frederick Damon (as Ivan Simpson)
Don DeFore ... Wally Myers
Jean Ames ... 'Hot Garters' Gardner
Minna Phillips Minna Phillips ... Mrs. Blanche Damon
Regina Wallace Regina Wallace ... Mrs. Myrtle Keller
Frank Mayo ... Coach Sprague
William B. Davidson ... Alumnus
Bobby Barnes Bobby Barnes ... Nutsy Miller
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Storyline

It's Homecoming weekend at Midwestern University, the weekend which will culminate with the big game between Midwestern and Michigan. Homecoming marks the return for the first time in six years of alumnus All-American Joe Ferguson, whose world is all about football and especially his place in it. Mild-mannered English Professor Tommy Turner is able to handle the thought of Joe's return to campus as the ex-boyfriend of Tommy's wife of six years, Ellen Turner née Stanley, who is temperamentally more like Joe than him. Tommy knows that Ellen loves him, the reason he doesn't mind the thought of Joe. The weekend starts off well enough for Tommy in that he believes he is being promoted from associate to full professor, which if be the case would be much earlier than he or Ellen had expected. However, it comes to his attention that Michael Barnes, an idealistic student of his who is also the editor of the campus' literary magazine, has written an editorial for the upcoming edition of the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Assim é que Elas Gostam See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent opened at the Cort Theatre in New York on 9 January 1940 and closed on 3 August 1940 after 243 performances. Don DeFore, Ivan F. Simpson, Minna Phillips and Regina Wallace originated their movie roles in the play. The opening night cast also included Leon Ames as Joe Ferguson, author/director Elliott Nugent as Tommy Turner, and Gene Tierney as Patricia Stanley. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Prof. Tommy Turner: [Reading Vanzetti's writing sample, at 1:35:40] If it had not been for these things, I might have lived out my life talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have died, unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. Never in our full life can we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's understanding of man, as now we do by accident. Our words - our lives - our pains - nothing! The taking of our lives - lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish peddler - all! ...
See more »

Connections

Version of BBC Play of the Month: The Male Animal (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Grey Mare
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the opening credits and later sung with modified lyrics as a football fight song
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Football vs. academics...excellent performances by Fonda, de Havilland and Carson...
6 April 2001 | by Neil DoyleSee all my reviews

Debate over whether a professor should be allowed to read a controversial letter to his class forms the subject for this spirited football vs. academics comedy originally a stage play by Elliot Nugent and James Thurber. The screen version moves briskly but it's all played at a "full steam ahead" kind of tempo popular at Warner Bros. Henry Fonda is excellent as the mild-mannered professor resentful of his wife's ex-boyfriend (a football jock) and Olivia de Havilland is radiant as his supportive wife. Jack Carson is ideally cast as the ex-football player still in love with Fonda's wife and his bombastic approach to comedy serves him well in this role. Joan Leslie is a little too coy as de Havilland's sister (a role played on the stage by Gene Tierney). It passes the time but is little more than a mildly entertaining comedy with too many dull stretches to make it truly satisfying. Fonda and de Havilland later played husband and wife again on Broadway in 'A Gift of Time' (1962). Elliot Nugent's direction is brisk but it still seems rather stagebound. Nugent himself played the role of the professor on Broadway.


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