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Hold That Co-ed 1938
Description: An egotistical politician believes he can victory votes by turning a tiny college's hapless football team into a championship team. Comedy.
Released: 16 Sep 1938 Director: George Marshall Writers: Karl Tunberg (screen play), Don Ettlinger (screen play), Jack Yellen (screen play), Karl Tunberg (original story), Don Ettlinger (original story) Actors: John Barrymore, George Murphy, Marjorie Weaver, Joan Davis Genres: Comedy
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Hold That Co-ed Reviews:

John Barrymore, George Murphy and Joan Davis star in "Hold that Coed," a 1938 movie about politics and football. Murphy plays a football star turned coach of a state university, which has no funding and no equipment for its football players. Governor Gabby Harrigan (John Barrymore) is running for a Senate seat and has slashed the school's funding even further. The students, led by the coach, head for his office to protest. Harrigan refuses to see them; a horrendous war breaks out when the police arrive. The governor's secretary (Marjorie Blake) and his advisors warn him that his decision to slash funding and refusal to meet the students is going to cost him votes. He decides to do a switch - to pour cash into the school and build a large stadium which will also serve as a zone to winner his election to the Senate.Of course, the school has to enjoy only the largest college teams. Just one trouble - this squad is a large loser. So a female (Davis) who is an nice kicker is drafted, and two professional wrestlers who quit school are given government positions and place on the team."Hold that Coed" is a funny satire with the type of wild performance by John Barrymore that one expects by 1938 when he was well in his cups. Like his fellow politico, Ronald Reagan, George Murphy was an attractive, light leading man, but he should also sing and dance. Though the melody in this film isn't much, it's pleasant, as is Murphy, who never tried to transport out of his range or go over the top. Joan Davis is funny as the tomboyish kicker - before she kicks, she does mincing kind movements. Someone complained about the finale, which contains issues with powerful winds; I didn't mind it.The film, of course, belongs to Barrymore. You can never take your eyes off of him, and even when he hams it up, he's great. I never thought he was a hammy actor unless it was named for - and as the governor, he should be nothing else. Certainly his performances in "Bill of Divorcement," "The Nice Boy Votes" and variety of his another movies prove his brilliance as an actor.Recommended; very enjoyable.


By this time in Barrymore's career you couldn't be sure if you were going to receive a fully on goal performance out of him or if he was going to sleep-walk through his role. Allow me assure you this is a nice movie for Barrymore enthusiasts to watch in which the Nice Profile is spot-on as Governor Gabby Harrington who never goes wrong by taking the cynical approach when dealing with the voters.The movie begins out with Rusty Stevens (George Murphy) taking over the football coaching duties at State University. Unfortunately the squad has no equipment, only one football, and no budget to do anything more about it since the governor has defunded the team. Rusty storms the governor's mansion with his squad in tow and demands to see the governor about this problem. At first the governor is not at all interested - after all college students don't vote (you still had to be 21 at the time). However a romance blossoms between the governor's aide and Rusty, and she later has the governor seeing things Rusty's method by phrasing things in terms of votes. Not only does Harrington restore funding to State U. in general, he builds the squad a fresh stadium, convinced this will victory him votes in his upcoming race for senator.This is an entertaining yet goofy tiny film. There is a windstorm in the finale that looks like some comic device out of a Wheeler and Woolsey film, a senate race decided by a football minigame between rival schools, and musical numbers that are passable but overall suffer from what I can only call Fox-itis and are unmemorable and oddly placed. What is very memorable besides Barrymore is Joan Davis who - long before Game 9 - plays a woman who has managed to receive a spot on the football team. Also of note is Jack Haley as the governor's aide who gets abused by the governor and chased by Joan Davis' character.The users hold stating that they are in the south, and this satire is obviously aimed at Huey Long. However, just to hold you off track, nobody here has a southern accent. Plus, it is specifically mentioned that the state has no canals or zoos - so this should not be Louisiana. I'd suggest this one just to see Barrymore in a nice performance late in his career in a film in which his presence is pivotal to its success. I can't see it having worked without him.


Recently attended a screening of this very funny movie and what was left out of the earlier review is that John Barrymore who is the Governor of the state is running for the US Senate and his enemy (George Barbier) is a trustee at rival Clayton University. Barrymore decides that if he builds a large football stadium for State U he can test it to his political advantage. The two candidates decide to have the large minigame between Clayton and State U decide the Senate election. If Clayton wins than Barrymore will drop out of the race and if State U wins Barbier will do the same. Of course you know which school will victory but its fun to see how the minigame ends. Joan Davis is very funny as the football testing co-ed.



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