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The Male Animal

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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(May 08, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Oscar-winners Olivia de Havilland ("Gone With the Wind") and Henry Fonda ("The Grapes of Wrath") star in this romantic comedy about a college professor who fights censorship and an amorous football player after his wife.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Olivia De Havilland, Joan Leslie, Jack Carson, Hattie Mcdaniel Henry Fonda
  • Directors: Elliott Nugent
  • Producers: Warner Bros.
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026ZQJES
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,514 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Male Animal" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The Male Animal is a movie that has you think about such serious issues as censorship and what it means to be a man, yet it doesn't sacrifice any laughs. Henry Fonda is perfectly cast as the professor who must learn whether he is man enough, and he is well supported by a beautiful Olivia deHavilland and a cast of good character actors. Not enough attention has been given to this movie over the years, and it deserves to be re-discovered. A great movie!
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
First, I'm dismayed to see such a pitifully few(5)reviews for this great American classic (demonstrating that hardly anyone knows about this must see movie) and second, that it hasn't yet been transferred to DVD.

It's social importance aside this is a first rate production featuring none-other-than Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, Eugene Pallette, Jack Carson, Joan Leslie, Herbert Anderson(TV's Dennis the Meance's Dad), Don De Fore(TV's Hazel's Mr.B)and Hattie McDaniel. This is as good as it gets and all you could ask for from Warner Bros. in 1942. Turner-Time/Warner deserve a big kick in the rear for letting this very important classic slip away into anonymity.

It's homecoming week and everyone's getting ready for the big game. Everyone except English professor Fonda and undergrad Anderson. They find the rising tide of testosterone is causing them to lose a grip on their women. This is coming at a time when the boys are most in need of the girl's support. All the old boosters are coming back to town to add to the complications. Along with these sexual rifts are a number of politcal values in question and what constitutes a real American and what is the America way of life.

The James Thurber script and Elliott Nugent direction accomplishes this in a very non-heavyhanded way. It's kept amazingly light and funny considering the weight of the material. It seems to be a light and very funny romp that in the end has a huge message to Americans about the American Way and what we must do to perserve it.

I know it's not on DVD but check out the price of the VHS. I implore you to see this movie. On even the shallowest level it's very entertaining and on the deepest level it's one of the biggest messages to ever come out of Hollywood. It's not what you expect from a movie made in 1942 but unfortunately, you're even less likely to see such an important message in such an entertaining way in the movies of today.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is the kind of socially-relevant James Thurber comedy Hollywood has all but forgotten how to make. Fonda and everyone are great, with a surprisingly nice job by Jack Carson. If you're a sports nut you won't care for the hilarious, all-too-true digs at college sports -- but the central theme of censorship still hits the mark, even if the movie is almost 60 years old. It's a dandy, lively story as well. And if you have an ounce of real American patriotism left (the more heartfelt kind, not the soppy apple-pie variety), you might even cheer at the end.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie achieves much without much instigation. A professor wants to read a letter in a classroom. There isn't much more to it than that. Yet, events quickly unfold that make this event into so much more. The movie marvelously pits Collegiate Intellect against Collegiate Business, something which stands true today as much as it did when the movie was made. Then toss in the side-by-side story of this professor and his relationship with his wife.

This film has intelligence, a bit of comedy and manages to deal with a significant issue of censorship in such a nonchalant, but very effective manner. The cast is great, the script solid. This film must be watched.
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By David on August 11, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
At a time when patriotism is more and more being defined as unqustioning support of administration policy, THE MALE ANIMAL offers a timely reminder of what Americanism truly is. I once heard a college president describe what education should be as "a window on the world, and a window is something you can look through from either side." This film provides a gentle reminder of the value of that insight. I still cheer at the end--every time I watch it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1942 movie is based on the hit 1940 Broadway play by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent (who also directed the movie). Henry Fonda plays Tommy Turner, an English professor at football mad Midwestern University. Olivia De Havilland is his wife, Ellen, who is somewhat miffed that her husband does not seem to love her as ardently as he once had. The school newspaper reveals that Tommy Turner would be reading a letter from Bartolomeo Vanzetti as an example of English composition. Given the notoriety of Sacco and Vanzetti as executed anarchists, the administration begin to put pressure on Prof. Turner to skip reading the letter. Fonda's character begins to question himself, as even his wife seems against the idea. The comedic subplot involves the homecoming football game, former star quarterback Joe Ferguson and the fact that Ellen and Jack once dated. Finally finding the resolve, Henry reads the letter to the astonishment of all, in several different ways. No need to reveal the ending here.

This is a fine movie with wonderful character actors such as Jack Carson as Joe Ferguson, the ever appealing Eugene Pallette as Ed Keller, school administrator, Hattie McDaniel, Don DeFore and Joan Leslie. Look for Gig Young in an uncredited role.

The quality of the recording is acceptable, as are most of the movies for Warner Bros. Archive Collection. It is about the same as a good VHS tape used to be. It has not been enhanced, but there are no serious issues and, being in black & white, there are no color problems either.
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