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College (1927)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Sport | November 1927 (USA)
To reconcile with his girlfriend, a bookish college student tries to become an athlete.


James W. Horne, Buster Keaton (uncredited)


Carl Harbaugh (story), Bryan Foy (story)

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Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... A Son
Anne Cornwall ... The Girl
Flora Bramley Flora Bramley ... Her Friend
Harold Goodwin ... A Rival
Snitz Edwards ... The Dean
Carl Harbaugh ... Crew Coach
Sam Crawford Sam Crawford ... Baseball Coach
Florence Turner ... A Mother


Ronald's high school valedictory address praises books and condemns sports. His girlfriend Mary condemns his attitude. He fears losing her to rival Jeff, decides to go to college and pay more attention to sports. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


BUSTER KEATON, Who takes the Highest Mirth Degree ever conferred on a dumb student in "COLLEGE" (Print Ad- Evening Star,((Denedin, NZ)) 8 January 1929) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

November 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buster Keaton, der Student See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1927 enter the U.S. public domain in 2023. See more »


Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


The Entertainer
written by Scott Joplin
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User Reviews

Keaton's Version Of The Freshman
1 September 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This film reminded me a lot of Harold Lloyd's "The Freshman," in which Harold goes out for sports in college to impress a girl - same story - and made two years earlier. I am partial to Lloyd's version but I enjoyed this, too.

Keaton's version starts off with the high school graduation ceremony. "Ronald" (Keaton), the scholar of the class, gives a speech denouncing athletics as a total waste of time and promoting being a bookworm over anything else. This speech is so offensive to the crowd that everyone leaves but Keaton's mom, who applauds. By the way, all the high school graduates look between 25-35 years of age. These are the oldest-looking high school seniors in history!!

Anyway, a girl Buster is trying to impress "Mary Haynes" (Anne Cornwall), was among those not impressed with his snobby "scholar" speech. She'd rather have an athletic man. So, upon entering college, "Ronald" tries a variety of sports, to gain the approval of the girl. (Does this theme sound familiar, not just in the Lloyd film but so many of Keaton's other films?)

He attempts to play baseball but is so clueless he puts on all the catcher's equipment to play third base. Suffice to say, after a number of plays ensue, it's more than evident that "Ronald" is a little bit out of his element! Next, he goes out for track, but gets discouraged when two little kids speed by him on the track. Throwing the discus and javelin are not good ideas, either. His high-jumping routine is very funny. He isn't bad in the hurdles, however. Obviously, pole vaulting doesn't work and the hammer throw almost gets his teammates killed, so he's told to leave.

He gets a call from the Dean's office. The Dean, who liked him from the start because he preferred studies over sports, is distressed because Buster's grades are bad. Buster explains his problems and the Dean (played by the always-funny Snitz Edwards) sympathizes because, being a wimpy little guy, he same problem years ago with a woman he liked. So, as a favor, Dean Edwards orders the rowing coach to install Buster as the coxswain of the team. The coach and the crew don't want this, as "Little Lord Fauntleroy" or "Mama's Boy" and other names he's called, has a reputation already at college as an athletic loser. They try to sabotage his attempt at being part of their crew, but he turns the tables. The funniest scene is when the new coxswain literally becomes the boat's rudder.

The neatest part of the film is the ending, which is usually the case in silent comedies. Suffice to say that Buster puts all of his athletic talents, which were not effective on the sports fields, to good use to get the girl. It's a memorable ending.

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