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Put Bob Hope, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Martha Raye, Edward Everett Horton, Betty Grable, Jackie Coogan and Robert Cummings in the same film and what do you get? College Swing, an all-star musical and one of the most entertaining comedy casts ever assembled! In this exciting adventure, a small-town college gets turned upside down when it falls into the hands of the new owner, Gracie (Allen), through inheritance. When Gracie decides that school is a bore, she hires vaudeville actors to teach the classes. With the school in such an uproar, there is only one thing to do - sing and dance! Featuring musical numbers including "What a Rumba Does to Romance", "How'dja Like to Love Me?" and "I Fall in Love with You Every Day", College Swing is a hilarious comedy starring some of the most talented performers in Hollywood history.
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Most moviefans like myself who enjoy older films will think to themselves the movie can't go wrong. With a big all-star cast like the movie is probably a lot of fun to watch. But, that's really the problem with this movie. It's too big and splashy. There is just too much going on. And because of that no one is really allowed too much screentime. Everything has to be divived so everyone gets a chance to be onscreen. I felt disappointed not seeing enough of Bob Hope. Which is why I wanted to see the movie in the first place. He doesn't have many funny lines. Now, if I can't see a lot of Bob Hope, that's fine, then show me George Burns and Gracie Allen, I like them too. But, no! They don't have enough screentime either. Because of all the stars the movie can't really have too strong of a story because it wouldn't have enough time to really develop anything. The way the movie is now it has about 3 or 4 stories going on and not many scenes are given so the story-lines can be drawn out. What the movie basically is, is just an excuse to have a lot of song and dance numbers. Which I don't mind, but, the movie is just too much for it's own good.
The main premise for the movie has Gracie Allen playing a young student who has never passed her final exams. 200 years ago a bet was made stating that if someone from Gracie's family would never pass an exam than that same family would donate the family money to the school. But, if someone in the family can actually pass an exam then the family can take control of the school.
I'd be lying if I said the movie doesn't have some bright spots. A duet between Hope and Raye singing "How'dja Like To Love Me?" I swear it looks as if Hope is actually laughing while doing the number. Allen, when given the chance does provide some laughs. And I did like hearing some of the songs.
If you enjoy classic Hollywood movies, which I bet you do because you wouldn't be looking up this movie if you didn't then you'll probably get some fun out it. Mind you, it's not that I think the movie is bad, I'd watch it again, but I just think that too much is going on at once to really be enjoyed. ** 1\2 out of *****
Bottom-line: A fast and wild 30's comedy. Lots of stars to keep your eyes out for. But, the movie just has too much going on and a lot of scenes don't even do anything for the movie. It's all just an excuse to sing and dance.