6.6/10
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9 user 4 critic

Father Was a Fullback (1949)

Football coach George Cooper has as many problems managing his football team as he has at home dealing with his daughters, Ellen and Connie.

Director:

John M. Stahl

Writers:

Clifford Goldsmith (story), Aleen Leslie (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Fred MacMurray ... George Cooper
Maureen O'Hara ... Elizabeth Cooper
Betty Lynn ... Connie Cooper
Rudy Vallee ... Mr. Jessup
Thelma Ritter ... Geraldine
Natalie Wood ... Ellen Cooper
Jim Backus ... Professor Sullivan (as James G. Backus)
Richard Tyler Richard Tyler ... Joe Birch
Buddy Martin Buddy Martin ... Cheerleader
Frank Mills ... Assistant Football Coach
Mickey McCardle Mickey McCardle ... Jones
John McKee John McKee ... Cy
Louise Lorimer ... Mrs. Jones
Ruth Clifford ... Neighbor
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Storyline

Coach George Copper's college football team is losing game after game, much to the dismay of stiff-and-stuffy but influential alumni Roger Jessup, and also having trouble at home with his oldest daughter, Connie. The team keeps losing and Coach Cooper is about to lose his job as his efforts to win the last game of the season, against the team's Big Rival, end in disaster. But, unknown to he and his wife, Elizabeth, Connie has sold an article, called "I Was a Bubble Dancer" to a 'True-Confession" magazine, and the girl-who-couldn't-get-a-date becomes suddenly popular and, because of her, the high-school football star from another town decides to play his college-ball for Coach Cooper. Jessup is forced to keep Cooper on as the school's football coach. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I wanted to live DANGEROUSLY so I married a football coach (who lost every game)

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 May 1950 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Papai Era Um Craque See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 20, 1950 with Maureen O'Hara, Betty Lynn and Jim Backus reprising their film roles. See more »

Quotes

Elizabeth Cooper: Not going, he a professor, teaches English literature
Ellen Cooper: No, I mean going
George 'Coop' Cooper: Helen, That's ridiculous, go and get clean up
Ellen Cooper: Daphne heard him gurgling on the phone like a worn out wolf about being a freshman in college
Elizabeth Cooper: Oh What an Idea
[looks at George, stunned]
Elizabeth Cooper: George Cooper!
Ellen Cooper: And he was pitching woos to a girl, Daphne thinks maybe she ought to tell her mother
Elizabeth Cooper: George you didn't
George 'Coop' Cooper: Father little helper
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Fred MacMurray (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A decent family comedy, but Betty Lynn's character is a serious detriment.
2 December 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Fred MacMurray is George Cooper--the coach of State's football team. They are having a horrible season and everyone seems to be second- guessing him...and he's worried that he'll soon be out of a job. In the midst of this, his teenage daughter, Connie (Betty Lynn*) is driving him crazy. The girl is unbelievably emotional and walks about in a Goth-like funk feeling sorry for herself. When George tries to help, he only makes things worse. The maid says he should just 'belt her one'! And, when you see how annoying (too annoying) she is, you kind of wish he'd take the maid's advice! Among the kooky antics involving the daughter are an attempt to create a fake boyfriend to pick up her spirits as well as Connie writing an article about teenage pregnancy...and her parents think she is pregnant. The antics, at times, seem straight from a second-rate sitcom--which is a shame as the rest of the film is much more enjoyable. The 'bubble dancer' portion involving Connie is kind of funny as is the aftermath.

Overall, the film is slight and enjoyable but occasionally the writing lets down the actors--with ridiculous situations and a character (Connie) who is much more of a caricature than a realistic person. Worth watching but don't rush to do so. Fred MacMurray, Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara have simply done better films.

*Betty Lynn is best known as Barney Fife's girlfriend, Thelma Lou, from "The Andy Griffith Show". Here, she is considerably younger and her part is incredibly poorly written. Poor Ms. Lynn!


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