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21 user 11 critic

The Male Animal (1942)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 4 April 1942 (USA)
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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 »
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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

Taglines:

SHE turned a lamb into a lion!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | 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

Two of the "college students" in the cast went on to be well-known TV dads in the 1960s: Herbert Anderson (Dennis the Menace (1959)) and Don DeFore (Hazel (1961)). See more »

Goofs

While the camera is zooming into Henry Fonda right before he is going to read the infamous letter, on the right of the screen, you can very plainly see the boom mike pole shadow edging across the screen. See more »

Quotes

Ellen Turner: You'd better take a hot water bottle to bed with you.
Prof. Tommy Turner: Nice of you to arrange for a substitute.
See more »

Connections

Version of She's Working Her Way Through College (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

For She's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by all for Helen's birthday
See more »

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User Reviews

 
surprisingly timely
2 February 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Henry Fonda is a college professor in danger of losing his job and his wife in "The Male Animal," also starring Olivia de Havilland, Jack Carson, and Joan Leslie. Fonda plays a happily married intellectual. On the weekend of college homecoming, his wife's former beau (Jack Carson), a jock, shows up, giving rise to the professor's insecurities. He's having problems in his teaching life as well when an editorial states that he plans to read a letter from Bartolomeo Vanzetti (of Sacco and Vanzetti) in his English composition class. The trustees aren't happy and want him to state that the article is incorrect. As he is up for a full professorship, his wife hopes he will back down also since three teachers have been fired for being "reds." This is an odd film with a very timely message about censorship and its dangers that by itself would have made a good movie, especially with wonderful actors like Fonda and de Havilland. However, the home situation was played for comedy. This film didn't seem to know which it was. If I were to guess, I would say the studio wanted a comedy and the dramatic part was downplayed. It's a shame, because there was nothing special about that part of the film, except that Jack Carson was very good.

The Henry Fonda character discovers that he has to become "the male animal," i.e., one who fiercely protects his home, and not only his home, but his role as a teacher as well. Today, when "Brokeback Mountain" isn't being shown in all areas, and more censorship is being urged, this is a good movie to see if only to remind us that the this is a war that has been fought for years. Nowadays I wonder if we're winning.


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