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The All American Co Ed (1941)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Frances Langford, Johnny Downs, Marjorie Woodworth, Noah Beery Jr., Esther Dale
  • Directors: LeRoy Prinz
  • Writers: LeRoy Prinz, Cortland Fitzsimmons, Hal Roach Jr., Kenneth Higgins
  • Producers: LeRoy Prinz
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W9SETI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,081 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The All American Co Ed (1941)" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

All-girl school Mar Brynn tries to get more pupils and publicity by making fun of the Quincton college.

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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 11, 2009
Format: DVD
This 52-minute low-budget college musical can be wincingly second rate, but it has its moments. Bear in mind that the height of its wit is the name of the two colleges: The all-girl Mar Brynn and the all-boy Quinceton.

When Mar Brynn president Matilda Collinge becomes worried over declining enrollment, the dean of Mar Brynn, Hap Holden (Harry Langdon), cooks up a scheme to rejuvenate the place. Mar Brynn will offer twelve scholarships in a contest for the loveliest of the lovely, with plenty of publicity. To make sure, there'll be a big notice that the men of Quinceton's Zeta fraternity cannot apply. Huh? Seems the Zetas are famous for their all-male reviews, with the guys dressed to the nines as girls, singing, dancing and fooling around. You can guess what happens. The Zeta's send their president and star lovely, Bob Sheppard (Johnny Downs), to apply for a scholarship as the ravishing Bobbie DeWolfe...and he makes it! For the rest of the movie Downs spends most of his time in drag. He doesn't look bad in a blond wig...a little like Jack Lemmon's Daphne.

Wouldn't you know it: Not only does Bob fall for co-ed Virginia Collinge (Frances Langford), Matilda's niece, but there is a big show to put on that will spotlight all the lovelies, including Bob as Bobbie. Yes, there will be mix-ups, confusion, endless drag jokes, songs and smirks. It's all innocent and bland, and some of the movie, in fact, is sort of nostalgic.

There's Harry Langdon, for instance, one of the greatest of the silent era comedians. Langdon didn't transfer well to sound. His ego didn't help, either. At 57, he still has that slim body and innocent baby face that, here, doesn't camouflage Hap Holden's more than academic interest in the girls. Langdon still is amusing in his mannerisms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Andersen on July 29, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The titles appear over a chorus line of shapely legs. When the camera pans up after the directorial credit, we are on stage with a drag show musical number in full swing. This short (51 minute) musical oddity has great tunes (an Oscar nomination for Best Score), cute guys and a "Some Like It Hot" cross-dressing plot that's a hoot. The male lead is far better as a girl than as himself. A totally unexpected delight that demands a cult following!
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Format: VHS Tape
As far back as 1941, someone pondered the seemingly unlimited potential of motion pictures and decided that the world really needed to see men in drag. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that, but All American Co-ed actually succeeds quite well as an entertaining diversion. Lest you see the name of Alan Hale, Jr. (better known as the Skipper from Gilligan's Island) in the cast list and panic, let me assure you that his small role is not a cross-dressing one; he's basically just a cotton-seed character. Bob Sheppard (Johnny Downs), though, spends a Flip Wilson-ish amount of time in dresses, however, for he (uh, she) is the point man (uh, woman) in a plot pitting two schools against one another. Mar Brynn is a girl's school famous for its traditionalist (meaning anti-male) foundation; unfortunately, it's not exactly prospering. To engineer some positive publicity, twelve scholarships are given out to girls brandishing special credentials. Nearby, at the all-boy Quinceton school, the Zeta fraternity brothers get their kicks by dressing up and performing as women. For reasons beyond my comprehension, Mar Brynn uses a reference to the Zeta drag queens as a publicity stunt, leaving the boys yearning for revenge. What better revenge could there by than passing one of their own off as a young lady and securing a scholarship to the all-girl school?
Naturally, you have a lot of jokes built around Bob trying to keep "Bobbie's" secret long enough to embarrass Mar Brynn at the appropriate time. Love ends up changing everyone's plans, but I probably don't need to even tell you that. It's all rather predictable, but the movie's assortment of musical numbers, tried-and-true comedy bits, and relatively short running time (clocking in at just over 48 minutes) allows All American Co-ed to succeed as a musical comedy that doesn't have time to grow old and annoying.
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