College Swing


1h 26m 1938
College Swing

Brief Synopsis

In 1738, a pact is drawn up between the Alden family and a highly respected Colonial college: If any female member of the family can pass her college exams within a 200-year period, ownership of the institution will be turned over to her. Two hundred years later in 1938, the last of the Alden girls, Gracie Alden hires Bud Brady to help her pass her exams. She also tries to win over no-nonsense professor Hubert Dash, who has no intention of handing his college over to a ditzy young lady like Gracie.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Apr 29, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

In 1738 in Aldentown, Gracie Alden fails to graduate from college for the ninth consecutive year and her grandfather, founder of the college, wills it to the first female Alden progeny to graduate. Two hundred years later, Gracie's namesake is again about to lose her inheritance, which will be forever forfeited to the city. Bud Brady offers to tutor her for $10,000, to be paid by the Guarantee Trust Company, which controls the university's mortgage. Guarantee Trust is owned by Hubert Dash, an Alden descendant who has a chronic fear of women and who will prepare Gracie's final exam. Hubert's secretary, George Jones, shares Hubert's fear of women. Meanwhile, Dash's nephew, Martin Bates, must serenade Ginna Ashburn, daughter of the university president, for a fraternity initiation and is caught shirtless by the prudish Dean Sleet. On the day of the final, George conducts the exam in Hubert's absence. Gracie, equipped by Bud with a cheat-sheet, passes by guessing answers off his laundry bill. Finally the owner of the university, Gracie appoints herself "Dean of Men," abolishes all entrance exams, and hires a new faculty of incompetent "kooks." Hoping to avoid the school's sinking reputation, Martin's guardians at Guarantee Trust ask him to transfer to Oxford, while Ginna's father resigns. Having sworn his love to Ginna, Martin promises to talk to his uncle, but Hubert, using a misogynistic syllogism, deduces that all women are schemers and threatens to retract Gracie's university land grant pending a new examination. Meanwhile, Bud gets the new faculty femme fatale to sneak into Hubert's room and scare him out of town. Gracie, overhearing their scheme, goes to warn Hubert and they fall in love. The next day when Gracie's exam is broadcast on national radio, Bud feeds her the answers through headphones and is discovered. Gracie then resolves to be herself and returns the university to Ashburn, to the relief of Ginna and Martin, and confesses her marriage to Hubert the previous night.

Videos

Movie Clip

College Swing (1938) - When You Get To Be A Professor Gracie Allen is Gracie “Alden,” in the 200-year old original structure of the college her family stands to inherit if she, on this last chance, can pass a graduation exam, cheating miraculously from a laundry list, George Burns her interrogator representing the administration, Cecil Cunningham on the board, in College Swing, 1938.
College Swing (1938) - How'dja Like To Love Me? Just-introduced Martha Raye as Mabel, having just dropped her fake French persona, offering herself as a “Professor of Practical Romance,” for Bob Hope as Bud, who’s now in charge of staffing up the college, cueing an original tune by Burton Lane and Frank Loesser, in Paramount’s College Swing, 1938, starring George Burns and Gracie Allen.
College Swing (1938) - Title Song (Betty Grable) Just the third scene and not essential to the narrative, at what must be the dining hall, an original tune for Paramount by Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael finds Skinnay Ennis launching a duet with Betty Grable, who switches to Jackie Coogan for the dance, choreography by LeRoy Prinz, Raoul Walsh directing, in College Swing, 1938, starring George Burns, Gracie Allen and Bob Hope.
College Swing (1938) - You Will Positively Graduate! After she played her ancestor in a colonial prologue, Gracie Allen is the last member of her wealthy family with the chance 200-years later to take ownership of the college by graduating, and Bob Hope introduces himself as an eager tutor after her fees, early in Paramount’s College Swing, 1938, also starring George Burns.

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Apr 29, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Articles

College Swing -


Just before settling into an outstanding action-and-gangster groove at Warner Bros. with the likes of The Roaring Twenties (1939) and High Sierra (1941), Raoul Walsh directed a handful of minor musical comedies at Paramount. Walsh didn't particularly care for these musicals, later recalling College Swing (1938), for instance, as a "silly, insubstantial [vehicle] that I rushed through shooting in record time just to get the damned thing off my back." And yet the picture still has charm and entertainment value because Walsh was too fine and professional a director not to inject his breezy sense of pace and energy.

The script, credited to four writers, centers on a young woman (Gracie Allen) who inherits a college, hires vaudevillians as teachers and transforms the campus into a hopping dance joint. This provides the excuse for a number of songs, three of which were written by Frank Loesser and Burton Lane, three by Loesser and Manning Sherwin, and one, the title tune, by Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael. The biggest hit of the score was "Howdja Like to Love Me?", composed by Loesser and Lane and performed by Martha Raye and Bob Hope.

Hope's role was originally conceived for Jack Oakie, but Hope parlayed his friendship with producer Lewis E. Gensler into the part instead. A few years earlier, Gensler had produced a Broadway show, Ballyhoo of 1932 that featured Hope; it flopped, losing money for both men, and Hope now asked Gensler to make it up to him by bulking up his part in College Swing. Gensler agreed, but except for the song with Raye, Hope essentially became simply one of the ensemble of present and future stars, including George Burns, John Payne, Edward Everett Horton and Betty Grable, who was still two years away from breaking into superstardom with Down Argentine Way (1940). "I spent most of the time staring at Betty Grable's legs," Hope later quipped.

By Jeremy Arnold
College Swing -

College Swing -

Just before settling into an outstanding action-and-gangster groove at Warner Bros. with the likes of The Roaring Twenties (1939) and High Sierra (1941), Raoul Walsh directed a handful of minor musical comedies at Paramount. Walsh didn't particularly care for these musicals, later recalling College Swing (1938), for instance, as a "silly, insubstantial [vehicle] that I rushed through shooting in record time just to get the damned thing off my back." And yet the picture still has charm and entertainment value because Walsh was too fine and professional a director not to inject his breezy sense of pace and energy. The script, credited to four writers, centers on a young woman (Gracie Allen) who inherits a college, hires vaudevillians as teachers and transforms the campus into a hopping dance joint. This provides the excuse for a number of songs, three of which were written by Frank Loesser and Burton Lane, three by Loesser and Manning Sherwin, and one, the title tune, by Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael. The biggest hit of the score was "Howdja Like to Love Me?", composed by Loesser and Lane and performed by Martha Raye and Bob Hope. Hope's role was originally conceived for Jack Oakie, but Hope parlayed his friendship with producer Lewis E. Gensler into the part instead. A few years earlier, Gensler had produced a Broadway show, Ballyhoo of 1932 that featured Hope; it flopped, losing money for both men, and Hope now asked Gensler to make it up to him by bulking up his part in College Swing. Gensler agreed, but except for the song with Raye, Hope essentially became simply one of the ensemble of present and future stars, including George Burns, John Payne, Edward Everett Horton and Betty Grable, who was still two years away from breaking into superstardom with Down Argentine Way (1940). "I spent most of the time staring at Betty Grable's legs," Hope later quipped. By Jeremy Arnold

College Swing


A co-ed tries to pass her college exams so that her family can win ownership of the institution.

College Swing

A co-ed tries to pass her college exams so that her family can win ownership of the institution.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Jackie Coogan and Betty Grable were married when this film was made.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1938

Released in United States on Video May 19, 1993

Released in United States 1938

Released in United States on Video May 19, 1993