Cast & Crew
Biff and Eddie, two college classmates at the University of Southern California, are life-long friends, fraternity brothers, and members of the football team. Although they make a vow at the beginning of their senior year that they will no longer allow their pursuit of girls to get into the way of they friendship, they soon break their vow when both fall for pretty Babs Baxter, a popular co-ed. Vying for her affections, Biff and Eddie play pranks on each other that soon causes a serious breach in their relationship. When Biff finally realizes that Eddie wants to marry Babs, he decides to step aside for the sake of their friendship, but at the season's big football game, both both realize that Babs has merely been toying with them she introduces them to her fiancé Bruce. After winning the game, Biff and Eddie decide never again to let girls come between them--until they see another pretty girl in the park.
Leslie F. Wilder
So This is College - So This Is College
This musical melodrama is built around the 1928 game between the University of Southern California and Stanford University, although the real-life score of 10-0 in favor of USC is altered in the film. Montgomery and Nugent play USC teammates who share a room and, unknowingly at first, the same girl (Starr). Just in time, the coach convinces the embattled players that they should have their minds on the big game and not their romantic problems.
Montgomery sings a song, "I Don't Want Your Kisses If I Can't Have Your Love"; and performs in a "tag dance" to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell." Cliff Edwards and Polly Moran provide comic relief, and uncredited bit parts are filled by Joel McCrea, Ward Bond, Ann Dvorak and future film director Delmer Daves, who also takes a writing credit.
Although he was already well-seasoned on Broadway in such plays of the late 1920s as Dawn, Arlene O'Dare and Possession, Montgomery's only previous film experience had been an uncredited bit in The Single Standard (1929), showcasing his future costar Greta Garbo. Montgomery's Broadway work had led to a screen test by Samuel Goldwyn, whose talent scouts decided against hiring the 25-year-old actor because he had "too long a neck." After MGM executive Nicholas Schenck saw the test, however, he convinced studio head Louis B. Mayer to sign Montgomery to a contract at $350 per week.
Seeing the skinny, unprepossessing Montgomery in the flesh, Mayer and other studio executives wondered if they'd made a mistake. After Montgomery was cast in So This Is College, director Sam Wood had him fitted with shoulder and arm padding to make him more convincing as the muscular football player named Biff. So This Is College was Wood's first talkie; he would direct Montgomery in two more of his early sound films, The Sins of the Children (1930) and The Man in Possession (1931). Montgomery's flexible, pleasant speaking voice would prove a tremendous asset in his budding film career.
So This Is College was well-received, with the Chicago Herald Examiner exclaiming, "Well, of all the surprises! Here's a college picture that acts and looks like college!" Another aspect of Montgomery's role -- his character was a society playboy before becoming a football player -- would foreshadow his future at MGM, where he was most often cast as a spoiled man-about-town.
Producer/Director: Sam Wood
Screenplay: Al Boasberg, Delmer Daves, with additional dialogue by Joseph Farnham
Cinematography: Leonard Smith
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Original Music: Al Boasberg, Martin Broones, Charlotte Greenwood, Glen Grant (uncredited), Theodore Morse (uncredited), Arthur Sullivan (uncredited), Milo Sweet (uncredited)
Editing: Frank Sullivan, Leslie F. Wilder (uncredited)
Cast: Elliott Nugent (Eddie), Robert Montgomery (Biff), Cliff Edwards (Windy), Sally Starr (Babs Baxter), Phyllis Crane (Betty Jackson), Polly Moran (Polly, the Cook).
by Roger Fristoe
So This is College - So This Is College
Features footage of a real USC-Stanford game filmed in 1928.
The film's onscreen music credits read: "Music by Martin Broones, Interpolations by Fred Fisher, Jesse Greer, Raymond Klages, Charlotte Greenwood and Al Boasberg." Portions of the film were shot on location on the campus of the University of Southern California. Newsreel footage from the 1928 USC-Stanford football game was intercut into the fictionalized game near the end of the film.