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They Learned About Women

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gus Van, Joe Schenck, Bessie Love, J.C. Nugent, Benny Rubin
  • Directors: Jack Conway, Sam Wood
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: February 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0040BJGZA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,753 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In the summer, they belt the ol' horsehide. In the winter, they belt out songs. They're Jerry Burke and Jack Glennon, stars on the baseball field and the vaudeville circuit. Real-life vaudevillians Gus Van and Joe Schenck, whose piano act carried them to fame in the Ziegfeld Follies footlights and on early-radio airwaves, headline this spirited 1930 musical that combines World Series heroics with the quest for romance (The Broadway Melody's Bessie Love plays the female lead). The film's baseball-vaudeville scenario stepped up to the plate again in 1949 with Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Esther Williams in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Batter - and curtain - up, musicals fans!

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

... and this is one of them. The early MGM musical comedies were thin on plot, but this thing is a real showcase of sound entertainment circa 1930. Plus you get to see how baseball was once played by just a bunch of average guys who were mechanics, plumbers, and - in the case of Van and Schenck's characters - vaudevillians From October to April. No wading in tens of millions they could never count for these guys.

The jist of the story is that vaudevillians Jerry Burke (Gus Van) and Jack Glennon (Joe Schenck) are singers half the year, baseball players with the Blue Sox the other half. Jerry is the partying type and Jack is the more level-headed one with a girl that he plans to marry soon, Mary (Bessie Love). Everything has been running smoothly until gold digging Daisy (Mary Doran) gets her eye on Jack and his earning potential.

Besides the baseball scenes from 80 years ago, the best part of this whole film is Nina Mae McKinney singing and dancing to Harlem Madness as well as a close look at two true vaudevillians - Gus and Schenck - in numbers that are pretty close to what they did on stage. Also, the fact is that, besides a couple of Vitaphone shorts, this is the only filmed record of their act or of their acting. Two songs in particular will probably seem jaw-droppingly politically incorrect to most modern viewers - "I'm an Old-Fashioned Guy" and "Dougherty Is the Name", but actually the sentiments in these songs do represent main-stream values of 80 years ago. The contrived comedy skits land with a bit of a thud, and it is a bit of a stretch to think of an entire baseball team breaking into barbershop style song in the shower after the game, but believe me you won't be bored.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura D on May 1, 2013
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The real reason to purchase a copy of the early talkie film (released January 1930) "They Learned About Women" is for Nina Mae McKinney, the stunningly talented young lady heading up the "Harlem Madness" musical number -- after the two corny, middle-aged white vaudevillians whine their version in falsetto/baritone harmony (ugh!) the curtain lifts and the musical number launches into its sparkling power, with gorgeous African-American ladies and men dancing gloriously, Nina Mae leading the song with gutsy elan. She lights up the entire screen, whether it's in 1928's Hallalujah as the femme fatale Chickie, or even in her (unfortunately) cheaper American pictures, because she never got to be the superstar she deserved to be due to racist Hollywood. Then in the number some adorable and very talented little tots of about 6-7 years old come out in sparkling costumes and dance too, making me wonder if these ladies are still alive and great grandmothers somewhere, recalling their childhood stepping in a black revue of an early sound movie. It's wonderful; the kids are darling without being coy; the whole number is fabulous.

Now, the movie itself is more than a tad corny, less than politically correct, to put it mildly: lots of Irish/Jewish/Italian "ethnic" accents and jokes; not a black guy to be seen on the baseball team except as masseusse attendents in the locker room, but we have to wincingly remind ourselves it WAS 1929/1930, and at least in this film no one on the train treats the porter too horribly condescendingly. We get a lot of ambience -- train travel, hotels, clothing, a drearily dull baseball game and the guys making their living in the wintertime as two very tiresome (to us nowadays) vaudeville performers.
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