powered by AFI
"Boley" Bolenciecwicz is the star player of the Clayton College football team, and concern that Boley will fail his classes because of his lack of sleep and study prompts the school's president to install Boley in the home of Professor Philip Murray, a quiet man who is an amateur magician. Boley is pleased with the situation, as he has a crush on Murray's daughter Louise, one of the team's cheerleaders. While Boley is settling in, New York City racketeer "Menance" decides to bet heavily on Clayton throughout the season and needs someone to keep an eye on Boley. Menance chooses nightclub entertainer Jimmy M'Gonigle, who was an All-American for Yale several years earlier, and two of his partners, Colonel and Mame Bacon. The Bacons and Jimmy soon make the acquaintance of Boley and the Murray family, which includes Grandpa, an eccentric whose belief that the Civil War is still raging does not interfere with his pursuit of women. Louise and Jimmy begin a romance, although Jimmy is jealous of the time Louise must spend with Boley when she tutors him or sings him to sleep. When the football season begins, Boley leads Clayton to victory in every game, until there is only one game remaining, against football powerhouse Notre Dame. With his fellow students' encouragement, Boley passes his midterms and qualifies to play, but Menance decides to bet against him. Knowing that Jimmy is too honest to interfere with Boley, Menance sends his main henchman, Seabiscuit, who is so full of nervous energy that he neighs like a horse, to Clayton. Seabiscuit tries to get Jimmy to return to New York, but Jimmy states that he is in love with Louise and wants to settle in Clayton. He changes his mind, however, when he sees Louise in Boley's bedroom and mistakenly assumes the worst. Louise, who was merely singing Boley to sleep, does not understand Jimmy's sudden coldness. Meanwhile, the colonel and Seabiscuit attempt to steal Grandpa's treasure chest, which they do not know is full of Confederate money, and when their plan is botched, Jimmy forces Seabiscuit to reveal the real reason behind Menance's plan to have Jimmy return to New York. Jimmy makes up with Louise and vows to protect Boley from Menance, but when Menance arrives in Clayton with two of his men, Butch and Gogo, they succeed in kidnapping Boley the night before the big game. The morning of the game, Jimmy and Grandpa discover that Boley is missing but find him at Menance's hideout. With Seabiscuit's help, Jimmy and Grandpa rush Boley to the stadium, where Clayton is behind in the last quarter. Jimmy then plays on Boley's phobia that the nearby Clayton dam will break, and the sleepy athelete runs to the winning touchdown.