Those Were the Days!


1h 14m 1940

Film Details

Also Known As
At Good Old Siwash, Those Were the Days (At Good Old Siwash)
Release Date
May 31, 1940
Premiere Information
Galesburg, IL premiere: 22 May 1940
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Galesburg--Knox College, Illinois, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel At Good Old Siwash by George Fitch (Boston, 1911).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

On the thirty-fifth wedding anniversary of P. J. "Petey" Simmons and Martha Scroggs, her father, a judge, tells the story of how the couple fell in love: At Siwash College in 1904, fraternities compete for freshmen initiates. Among them is the enterprising Petey, who is in high demand because his father is rich. At Alpha Rho Epsilon, Petey is being doted on by the brothers when a realty agent walks in and, reminding the boys that they are six months behind in their rent, accuses them of wanting Petey for his money. The boys of Beta Phi then fill the Alpha Rho Epsilon house with smoke and abduct Petey, who is then arrested with them. Judge Squire Jennings lets the boys go, and Petey is later initiated as a Beta Omega Pi. When the boys pick dates for the Freshman Dance out of a hat, Petey picks the unpopular Martha, and his roommate, Alexander "Allie" Bangs, who is shy with the ladies, picks beautiful Mirabel Allstairs. While en route to the dance, Petey is chased by a mob of angry sophomores because he stole one of their hats, but manages to elude them and is cheered by the freshmen. Petey's ego swells and the most beautiful girls willingly dance with him, while he ignores Martha. As the term progresses, Petey's cocky attitude alienates him from his fraternity brothers. The night before a calculus exam, Allie upbraids Petey for his self-centeredness. Petey, determined to win back the affection of his brothers, schemes to prevent the math professor from arriving on time the next morning so that Allie will have more time to study. After sneaking into the professor's house and changing all the clocks, Petey tries to disrupt the bells in the bell tower. When they will not stop ringing, he steals a cable car, which slams into a building, and is arrested. Judge Malachi Scroggs, known for his strict sentences, accuses Petey of creating a "reign of terror" and is about to sentence him to six months in jail when Petey demands a continuance and is given one week to plead his case. When he realizes the judge is Martha's father, he courts her for a week, initially hoping she will appeal to her father on his behalf, but finally falling in love with her. The day before his trial, Petey gives Martha his fraternity pin and sends her a wagon full of flowers. When the judge discovers Martha's beau is Petey, he is outraged and convinces Martha that Petey was only using her. In court, the judge agrees to forgo a sentence of six months hard labor if Petey agrees never to see or speak to Martha again. After several attempts to speak to Martha fail, Petey ties her to a chair in her father's parlor and muzzles her with a bookstrap, then swears his love. The judge walks in on them and has Petey arrested. Mirabel then spreads a story around campus that the judge has put Petey in jail simply because he is in love. By throwing a rock through the courthouse window, Martha gets herself arrested and is placed in a cell adjoining Petey's. As a mob forms outside demanding the release of the lovers, Petey and Martha hold hands through the bars. Back in the present, the judge finishes the story, explaining that after the students set off an old cannon, opened fire hydrants, let dogs out of the pound, and stole the fire horses and painted them to look like zebras, he finally released Petey and Martha. Petey then gets a telegram stating that Petey, Jr., who is away at school, was arrested for stealing an airplane so that he could get to the prom on time. When Petey asks what he should do, Judge Scroggs suggests that maybe the judge in Junior's case has a daughter.

Cast

William Holden

P. J. "Petey" Simmons

Bonita Granville

Martha Scroggs

Ezra Stone

Alexander "Allie" Bangs

Judith Barrett

Mirabel Allstairs

Vaughan Glazer

Judge Malachi Scroggs

Lucien L. Littlefield

Professor Sillicocks

Richard Denning

Briggs

Phillip Terry

Ranson

Tom Rutherford

Sam Byers

Aldrich Bowker

Judge Squire Jennings

James Seay

Andrews

Douglas Kennedy

Allen

John Laird

Saunders

John Hartley

Whipple

Robert Scott

Allison

Gaylord Pendleton

Connie Mathews

Alan Ladd

Keg Rearick

James Dodd

Evans

Wilda Bennett

Miss Chickering

Cyril Ring

Mr. Sanford

Kitty Kelly

Mrs. Sanford

John Marston

Mr. Holland

Dora Clemant

Mrs. Holland

Kent Rogers

Jimmy Skelton

Frank Coghlan Jr.

Chick Struthers

Harold F. Landon

Adams

Janet Waldo

Miss Willowboughy

Kay Stewart

Miss Gay

Harry C. Bradley

Conductor

James C. Morton

Conductor

Dick Winslow

First passenger

Michael Gale

Second passenger

Dave Dunbar

Brakeman

James Flavin

Policeman

Edgar Dearing

Policeman

Stanley Blystone

Policeman

Lux Macbride

Photographer

Stanley Mack

Clerk in court

Jack Clifford

Officer in court

Steve Putnam

Boy in court

Billy O'brien

Boy

Hal Brazeale

Student

Richard Clayton

Student

Bradley Clark

Student

Sam Ash

Clerk

Richard Carle

Old man

Joseph King

Officer Swanson

Nora Cecil

Mrs. Moffett

Murdock Macquarrie

First citizen

John Beck

Second citizen

Renie Riano

Old lady

Paul Newlan

First hobo

Frank Mills

Second hobo

Emory Parnell

Jailer

Dorothy Weber

Girl with motorman

Ted Osborn

Young clerk

Philip Trent

Clerk

Robert Quirk

Bellhop

Joyce Mathews

Telephone operator

Ruth Rogers

Secretary

William Frawley

Prisoner

Jean Phillips

Kathleen Mccormack

Wanda Mckay

Betty Mclaughlin

Paula De Cardo

Audrey Maynard

Lane Allan

William Orr

Film Details

Also Known As
At Good Old Siwash, Those Were the Days (At Good Old Siwash)
Release Date
May 31, 1940
Premiere Information
Galesburg, IL premiere: 22 May 1940
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Galesburg--Knox College, Illinois, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel At Good Old Siwash by George Fitch (Boston, 1911).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film's working title, At Good Old Siwash, was changed to Those Were the Days! after shooting was completed. The invitation to the press preview screening on May 14, 1940 lists the title as Those Were the Days (At Good Old Siwash), and the film was reviewed in Daily Variety, Film Daily and Motion Picture Herald under that title. According to the Variety review, the film was shot on location at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. The film had its premiere in Galesburg and in several other Midwestern college towns. The onscreen credits state that Frank Loesser wrote original lyrics for songs performed in the film, probably a reference to a medley of period songs, including "Daisy Bell" and "In the Good Old Summer Time," that plays during a montage of Petey and Martha's summertime outings. Although William Frawley is mentioned in the Film Daily review as one of the film's principals and his name appears sixth in the press invitation cast list and Hollywood Reporter review, and appears third in the cast list in the Variety review, his name does not appear in the onscreen credits or in CBCS records. Frawley was identified in the viewed print, however. The Variety review switched the character names of actors Phillip Terry and Tom Rutherford. The Motion Picture Herald review credits John Arledge with Tom Rutherford's role, although Arledge is not listed in the onscreen credits, in other reviews or in the CBCS. This picture marked the screen debut of stage actor Ezra Stone.