She's Working Her Way Through College (1952)

100-101 or 104 mins | Musical | 12 July 1952

Writer:

Peter Milne

Producer:

William Jacobs

Cinematographer:

Wilfrid M. Cline

Production Designer:

Charles H. Clarke

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a Feb 1950 HR news item, Warner Bros. originally assigned Charles Tobias and Peter de Rose to write songs for the film, which Louis F. Edelman was to produce. HR production charts from the first month of production list Francis J. Scheid as sound man; later charts list Leslie G. Hewitt. Warner Bros. production notes add Patricia Hawks, daughter of silent screen star Bessie Love, and the following dancers to the cast: Camille Williams, Shirley Whitney, Joan Haig, Jean Harrison, Crystal White, Beverly Thomas, Diana Mumby and Sally Saunders, but their appearance in the film has not been confirmed. Oct and Nov 1951 HR news items add Donna Ring, Frances Zucco and Chuck Hicks to the cast, but their appearance in the film has not been confirmed. Ramon and Royce Blackburn, the nightclub entertainers known as the Blackburn Twins, performed with Patrice Wymore in the production number "Love Is Still for Free."
       According to a Sep 1951 HR news item, Michael Curtiz substituted as director for Bruce Humberstone while the latter recovered from the flu. Several reviews noted the differences between the musical film and the James Thurber-Elliott Nugent play upon which it is based, The Male Animal . The freedom of speech issue, precipitated by the professor's announcement that at his next class he would read a letter written by anarchist Bartolomeo Vansetti, is entirely absent from the musical film. The NYT review noted that the plot of the screenplay shifts attention away from the professor, who almosts loses his wife and job, to the college career of the ex-burlesque dancer, who was a lesser ... More Less

According to a Feb 1950 HR news item, Warner Bros. originally assigned Charles Tobias and Peter de Rose to write songs for the film, which Louis F. Edelman was to produce. HR production charts from the first month of production list Francis J. Scheid as sound man; later charts list Leslie G. Hewitt. Warner Bros. production notes add Patricia Hawks, daughter of silent screen star Bessie Love, and the following dancers to the cast: Camille Williams, Shirley Whitney, Joan Haig, Jean Harrison, Crystal White, Beverly Thomas, Diana Mumby and Sally Saunders, but their appearance in the film has not been confirmed. Oct and Nov 1951 HR news items add Donna Ring, Frances Zucco and Chuck Hicks to the cast, but their appearance in the film has not been confirmed. Ramon and Royce Blackburn, the nightclub entertainers known as the Blackburn Twins, performed with Patrice Wymore in the production number "Love Is Still for Free."
       According to a Sep 1951 HR news item, Michael Curtiz substituted as director for Bruce Humberstone while the latter recovered from the flu. Several reviews noted the differences between the musical film and the James Thurber-Elliott Nugent play upon which it is based, The Male Animal . The freedom of speech issue, precipitated by the professor's announcement that at his next class he would read a letter written by anarchist Bartolomeo Vansetti, is entirely absent from the musical film. The NYT review noted that the plot of the screenplay shifts attention away from the professor, who almosts loses his wife and job, to the college career of the ex-burlesque dancer, who was a lesser character in the stage play. The Var review stated that the sociological point made in the stage play was written out of the film.
       The 1942 Warner Bros. film The Male Animal , which more closely follows the original play, was directed by Nugent and starred Henry Fonda and Olivia De Havilland. Don DeFore, who played "Shep Slade" in She's Working Her Way Through College , also appeared in the earlier film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Jun 1952.
---
Daily Variety
5 Jun 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Jun 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 51
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Jun 52
p. 1389.
New York Times
9 Jul 52
p. 23.
New York Times
10 Jul 52
p. 27.
New Yorker
19 Jul 1952.
---
Time
21 Jul 1952.
---
Variety
11 Jun 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Fill-In dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
Vocal arr
DANCE
Mus numbers staged and dir by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Virginia Mayo
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Male Animal by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent, as produced by Herman Shumlin (New York, 1 Sep 1940).
SONGS
"I'll Be Loving You," "Love Is Still for Free," "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of," "Oh Me Oh My Oh Me-o," "All Hail to Midwest State" and "You've Got to Give Them What They Want," music by Vernon Duke, lyrics by Sammy Cahn
"Am I in Love?" and "With Plenty of Money and You," music and lyrics by Harry Warren and Al Dubin
"Baby Face," music by Harry Akst, lyrics by Benny Davis
+
SONGS
"I'll Be Loving You," "Love Is Still for Free," "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of," "Oh Me Oh My Oh Me-o," "All Hail to Midwest State" and "You've Got to Give Them What They Want," music by Vernon Duke, lyrics by Sammy Cahn
"Am I in Love?" and "With Plenty of Money and You," music and lyrics by Harry Warren and Al Dubin
"Baby Face," music by Harry Akst, lyrics by Benny Davis
"Gee, But You're Swell," music and lyrics by Abel Baer and Charles Tobias
"We're Working Our Way Through College," music and lyrics by Richard A. Whiting and Johnny Mercer
"As Time Goes By," music and lyrics by Herman Hupfield.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 July 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 9 July 1952
Production Date:
mid September--mid December 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 August 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1856
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
100-101 or 104
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15564
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Professor John Palmer of Midwest College goes to New York to attend stage plays to prepare for the theater arts classes he teaches, he sees one of his former high school students, Angela Gardner, performing in burlesque as "Hot Garters Gertie." During intermission, Angela invites him to her dressing room and tells him she has been saving money to attend college, where she hopes to begin a writing career. Encouraged by John, who assures her that a college education is the "inalienable right of every American," she decides to attend Midwest College. John agrees to read a script she has written, but after John leaves, a mink coat is delivered anonymously to Angela with an invitation to meet the donor at a hotel room. Thinking it came from John, she proceeds to the hotel room to return the gift, but finds there instead a lecherous tourist who calls himself "Daniel Brown." Having to act fast to escape his advances, Angela forgets to leave the mink, and when she tries to have it delivered to him, "Brown" has already checked out. Later, at Midwest College, Angela makes friends with Don Weston, the school's quarterback, which earns her the ill-will of "Poison" Ivy Williams, the leading lady of past college productions. As the college chairman, Fred Copeland, gives preference to athletics over other programs, John and his wife Helen live on a tight budget, so Angela rents a room from them. When John intimates that the annual college play, which he directs, is poorly attended, Angela suggests he drop the classics for something more modern. John, who is impressed with the play Angela has written, suggests they add a few ... +


When Professor John Palmer of Midwest College goes to New York to attend stage plays to prepare for the theater arts classes he teaches, he sees one of his former high school students, Angela Gardner, performing in burlesque as "Hot Garters Gertie." During intermission, Angela invites him to her dressing room and tells him she has been saving money to attend college, where she hopes to begin a writing career. Encouraged by John, who assures her that a college education is the "inalienable right of every American," she decides to attend Midwest College. John agrees to read a script she has written, but after John leaves, a mink coat is delivered anonymously to Angela with an invitation to meet the donor at a hotel room. Thinking it came from John, she proceeds to the hotel room to return the gift, but finds there instead a lecherous tourist who calls himself "Daniel Brown." Having to act fast to escape his advances, Angela forgets to leave the mink, and when she tries to have it delivered to him, "Brown" has already checked out. Later, at Midwest College, Angela makes friends with Don Weston, the school's quarterback, which earns her the ill-will of "Poison" Ivy Williams, the leading lady of past college productions. As the college chairman, Fred Copeland, gives preference to athletics over other programs, John and his wife Helen live on a tight budget, so Angela rents a room from them. When John intimates that the annual college play, which he directs, is poorly attended, Angela suggests he drop the classics for something more modern. John, who is impressed with the play Angela has written, suggests they add a few songs and stage it. Later, before a football rally, several faculty members meet at the Palmers' house. Wealthy businessman Shep Slade, an alumnus ex-All-American football hero and Helen's former flame, shows up with Copeland. During the party, John asks Copeland for permission to put on a modern musical instead of a classic, but the chairman is reluctant until Slade suggests that the students preview some of the show for them. While Angela and Don perform a song from the show for the faculty, the jealous Ivy searches Angela's room and steals her scrapbook, which documents her dancing days. Slade's relentless bragging and flirting with Helen makes John uneasy and he sends Helen out alone when the faculty goes to dinner. Feeling inadequate, John drinks alone and is inebriated by the time Don and Angela return from the rally. Mistaking them for Helen and Slade, he offers to step aside, so that Helen will be free to be with Slade. Don and Angela urge him to fight for his mate, the way animals do. When Helen and Slade return, John attempts a physical altercation, but then accuses Slade of trying to hurt Helen for choosing John years ago. He offers to give her up, but Slade admits his flirting "was just a line," which upsets Helen. After a rehearsal for the show, Ivy confronts Angela with the scrapbook she has stolen, and threatens to tell the school newspaper unless Angela drops out of the show, leaving the lead role and Don for Ivy. As she wants the show to be a success so that John will get credit, Angela agrees to "sprain" her ankle and claims that she and Don are just friends. Meanwhile, Don is contemplating his love for Angela as he works out in the gym. Angela meets him later to tell him about Ivy's threat, but Ivy sees them together. By the next day the school newspaper, and then the nationwide press, has reported on Angela's "Hot Garters" days. Because of the bad press, Copeland wants Angela expelled and sends Slade to the Palmers' house ordering John, under threat of being fired, to speak at a meeting of the student body. Copeland has prepared a speech for John to read which announces that the show is cancelled and Angela expelled. However, at the meeting, John refuses to read Copeland's speech. Instead, he talks about discrimination against people in show business and how one kind of discrimination leads to other kinds. His speech makes him a hero in the eyes of the students, Helen and even Slade. As Copeland has refused to talk to her in person, Angela confronts him in his office and realizes that he is "Daniel Brown." As she still has the mink, she blackmails him. Later, Copeland grants John a full professorship and the show, titled "You've Got to Give Them What They Want," opens on schedule. +

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

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