Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949)

83 mins | Comedy | May 1949

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HISTORY

Mr. Belvedere Goes to College was the sequel to Twentieth Century-Fox's 1948 film Sitting Pretty . According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, F. Hugh Herbert, who wrote Sitting Pretty , also wrote a screenplay about Belvedere at college, but it is not known if he contributed to this film. Jean Peters was originally scheduled to play the role of "Ellen Baker." This was Jessie Royce Landis' first appearance in a film since 1930. Production began in early Nov 1948 at the University of Nevada, in Reno. During a sequence in the sorority house, Clifton Webb plays a brief piano piece, which he is credited with having composed. A radio version of the film, featuring Webb, Coleen Gray and Robert Stack, was broadcast on the Lux Radio Theatre on 16 Jan 1950. For more information on the "Mr. Belvedere" series, please see the entry for Sitting Pretty ... More Less

Mr. Belvedere Goes to College was the sequel to Twentieth Century-Fox's 1948 film Sitting Pretty . According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, F. Hugh Herbert, who wrote Sitting Pretty , also wrote a screenplay about Belvedere at college, but it is not known if he contributed to this film. Jean Peters was originally scheduled to play the role of "Ellen Baker." This was Jessie Royce Landis' first appearance in a film since 1930. Production began in early Nov 1948 at the University of Nevada, in Reno. During a sequence in the sorority house, Clifton Webb plays a brief piano piece, which he is credited with having composed. A radio version of the film, featuring Webb, Coleen Gray and Robert Stack, was broadcast on the Lux Radio Theatre on 16 Jan 1950. For more information on the "Mr. Belvedere" series, please see the entry for Sitting Pretty below. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Apr 1949.
---
Daily Variety
1 Apr 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Apr 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 48
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 48
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 49
p. 3, 8
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Apr 49
p. 4566.
New York Times
16 Apr 49
p. 11.
Variety
6 Apr 49
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
MUSIC
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Voc arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Tech adv
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on a character created by Gwen Davenport.
MUSIC
Excerpt from Sonata Opus 27, no. 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
"Mr. Belvedere" by Clifton Webb.
SONGS
"Collegiate," music and lyrics by Moe Jaffe and Nat Bonx
"Fare-Thee-Well, Dear Alma Mater," music by Josef Myrow, lyrics by Mack Gordon
special lyrics by Elliott Nugent and Enrico Ricardi.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
May 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 Apr 1949
Production Date:
8 Nov--23 Dec 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 March 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2451
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83
Length(in feet):
7,493
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
13529
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Although he is the celebrated author of Hummingbird Hill , Lynn Belvedere is almost a pauper because of several libel suits that have been brought against the book. He has won a large cash award, but the bequeathing foundation requires that the winner must have a college degree, which Belvedere lacks. Belvedere informs the Dean of Men at Clemens University that, although he has had no formal education since the age of six, he intends to complete the four-year degree in one year. The president of Clemens decrees that before being admitted, Belvedere will have to take a series of entrance exams. After easily passing all of the tests, Belvedere, who is a natural genius, is accepted as a student on the condition that he bring no notoriety to the university. He is then assigned to share a dorm room with Corny Whittaker, a fellow freshman, and with Avery Brubaker, a sophomore who tries to boss him about. Shortly after classes start, Ellen Baker approaches Belvedere for an interview for the school newspaper, but he refuses. As he requires part-time employment, Belvedere goes to the student employment bureau, which is run by Bill Chase, who is interested in Ellen. Belvedere accepts the only job available and becomes a hasher at a sorority house, where Bill's mother is the house mother. When Belvedere is assigned to assist Avery in the house, he convinces his nemesis to call a truce. Bill then introduces Ellen to his mother, who assumes the young woman is a member of a socially prominent family. At dinner, Belvedere reprimands several of the girls for their lack of etiquette and punctuality. Later, Belvedere is forced to ... +


Although he is the celebrated author of Hummingbird Hill , Lynn Belvedere is almost a pauper because of several libel suits that have been brought against the book. He has won a large cash award, but the bequeathing foundation requires that the winner must have a college degree, which Belvedere lacks. Belvedere informs the Dean of Men at Clemens University that, although he has had no formal education since the age of six, he intends to complete the four-year degree in one year. The president of Clemens decrees that before being admitted, Belvedere will have to take a series of entrance exams. After easily passing all of the tests, Belvedere, who is a natural genius, is accepted as a student on the condition that he bring no notoriety to the university. He is then assigned to share a dorm room with Corny Whittaker, a fellow freshman, and with Avery Brubaker, a sophomore who tries to boss him about. Shortly after classes start, Ellen Baker approaches Belvedere for an interview for the school newspaper, but he refuses. As he requires part-time employment, Belvedere goes to the student employment bureau, which is run by Bill Chase, who is interested in Ellen. Belvedere accepts the only job available and becomes a hasher at a sorority house, where Bill's mother is the house mother. When Belvedere is assigned to assist Avery in the house, he convinces his nemesis to call a truce. Bill then introduces Ellen to his mother, who assumes the young woman is a member of a socially prominent family. At dinner, Belvedere reprimands several of the girls for their lack of etiquette and punctuality. Later, Belvedere is forced to appear before the Sophomore Council to explain why he has shaved during "Whisker Week." Instead of the usual punishment of a paddling, Belvedere is sentenced to wear a false beard until told to remove it. A photograph of the "trial," which Ellen took in secret, appears in the university newspaper along with an article in which Belvedere is quoted , criticizing co-eds and athletes. Dr. Keating, the university president, is concerned about the article's impact on the community, and Belvedere is summoned to Dean Gibbs's office. Belvedere explains that he did not make the comments for publication and intends to sue the university and Ellen. When Belvedere calls on Ellen to discuss the matter, he finds her out, but does meet her young son Davy. As soon as Ellen returns, Belvedere criticizes her for printing gossip and refuses to give his consent to a full-length article she has agreed to do for a major magazine. Later, at an intramural sports competition, Belvedere is content to read in the stands until Corny explains to him that they can immediately stop wearing their demeaning freshman caps if the freshman team wins the contest. This galvanizes Belvedere into action, and he participates in the deciding event, the pole vault. His winning jump is just four inches short of the all-time record, which he set in 1922. Meanwhile, Bill has become serious about Ellen, and she invites him into her apartment, where he meets Davy. After she explains that her husband was killed in the war, Bill, stunned, leaves abruptly. A few weeks pass and Belvedere is about to become a junior when Bill returns to see Ellen, explaining that it has taken him a little time to get used to the fact that she is a widow. Later, Mrs. Chase phones to invite Ellen to dinner as a prospective sorority member, then learns from Avery that she has a child. Although Belvedere interjects that Ellen is a widow, Mrs. Chase is not at all pleased to learn that Bill and Ellen are engaged. Ellen thinks Belvedere has retaliated by telling Mrs. Chase gossip and determines to finish her piece for Look magazine. When Bill warns Ellen that she and Belvedere could both be expelled, he and Ellen fight. Belvedere goes to Ellen's apartment to reason with her but, thinking he is Bill, she refuses to let him in. Belvedere attempts to enter using a fire escape and ledge, but is spotted by two policemen who follow him and find him hiding in Davy's room. When Ellen then denies knowing him, the police arrest him as a Peeping Tom. At the precinct station, Belvedere demands to make a phone call and places a person-to-person, collect call to his old friend, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. Ellen, Bill, his mother and others come to the jail and Ellen arranges to have the charges dropped and presents Belvedere with her article. At the annual commencement ceremony on campus, President Keating congratulates Belvedere on keeping his word about publicity and notoriety. As he had anticipated, Belvedere has earned his degree in one year and is class valedictorian. Dean Gibbs presents Belvedere with his degree and in return Belvedere presents Gibbs with a copy of the latest issue of Look magazine featuring Ellen's article and a cover photograph of the presentation Gibbs has made only seconds before. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.