Freshman Love
Starring: Charles Butterworth, Maxine Doyle, Jimmy Durante, Florine McKinney, Phil Regan
Director: Charles "Chuck" Riesner
Year of release: 1934
Country: USA
Screen shots

(click to enlarge)
Plot summary
There's just something about use of the words "rowing and musical" to describe a film which gives one a feeling of dread...

In Student Tour the rowing team at a small west coast college are hoping to go on a round the world tour to England to compete in a regatta but their philosophy professor Ethelred Lippincott is planning to fail everyone, which means they won't be allowed to go... So some of the girls tie him up and burn the exam papers.. (as you do)

The professor's ugly duckling daughter, Ann, has got the hots for the club captain, Bobby, so she gets her uncle to tutor the crew on the ship and her Father ends up sharing with the coach - as they both snore.

Bobby thinks it would be a good idea to have crew row to dance music (that's 1930's dance music - not anything by the Prodify). They try one song but the rhythm is too fast.

At Monte Carlo the coxswain wins 100,000 francs gambling and gives a party; but he loses his voice so Ann substitutes for the whispering coxswain and gets the crew going by singing a peppy number... certain plot similarities to "Freshman Love" me thinks.

As you can probably guess, will the aid of Ann's singing they go on win, and the crew throws her in the water.

The film's giddy highlight is "Taj Mahal," in which a group of pretty students (including a young Betty Grable) go swimming in the pool of the famous Indian shrine?!?

According to studio publicity, a crop of genuine college coeds were hired to play the students in Student Tour, but to the trained eye they sure look like standard Hollywood extras and bit players.

The film was slated when it opened as this review from the NY times in 1934 shows

Tragedy of the Sea.
Published: October 31, 1934

Shed a tear for Jimmy Durante and Charles Butterworth, who went down with the good ship "Student Tour" at the Mayfair yesterday. To mix the figures of speech, they were outnumbered by the scenario department. Mangled almost beyond recognition, Mr. Durante was still on his feet at the end. Throughout the picture he took his dialogue like a gentleman. He even managed that most unkindest cut of all—"Sleep is just a question of mind over mattress"—without a tremor, speaking it gallantly and even proudly, stringing along with it although he knew the battle was lost. Say this for him, that he was a trouper and that he went nose-crowned into the darkness.

"Student Tour," to proceed to the more general epitaph, is the labored account of the world cruise of the co-eds and athletes of Bartlett College. There is something about the unattractive niece of the philosophy professor and how she won her man by doffing her spectacles at the masquerade dance. The photoplay does contain two good songs, but otherwise it possesses the sparkle and the wit of a performing elephant and the headlong speed of Mr. Stepin Fetchit.

Rowing info

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