The All-American (1932) Poster

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A More Dramatic Slant on the Old Football Theme!!
kidboots18 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Even though, once again, a football movie boosted it's cast list with some of the biggest football stars of the time, "The All-American" tried a different approach. Instead of the rah-rah, feel good college movie then in vogue, this one tried to deal with the negative effect of too much adulation too soon and charts the fall from grace of a one time football hero who allows success to go to his head and now faces a life of anticlimax!!

"All this adulation today - will he be able to get a job tomorrow" says a knowing sports commentator as Gary King (delicious Richard Arlen), All-American, leaves the stadium for the last time. King has decided to leave college and cash in on the one thing he is sure of - his name. He is assured a job as a bond salesman but soon realises that all the customers want to talk about are his career highlights and promises of buying his bonds are as empty as air. He is also happy to be sucked into the vapid, high rolling whirl and is not above using the money he has put aside for a business partnership with his old college friend Steve Kelly (Preston Foster) to fund his growing gambling addiction.

Gloria Stuart certainly had reason to look back with some bitterness on her Universal film career because even though she was used in many and varied films, she was usually only set decoration. In this movie, once again, she must sit on the sidelines as the faithful sweetheart while, of all people, Merna Kennedy as shallow society girl Gloria, has the meatier part. She had her beautiful clutches into Gary but he has now sobered up and it is his brother Bob (John Darrow) who is now the football star of the hour and who is going down the same path as Gary once did.

Big highlight is the end of movie big game with Gary reluctantly taking to the field again to give his brother a lesson in humility!! June Clyde, only a few years earlier RKO's new hope, was reduced to playing ditzy types, this time as Bob's heart broken wife. James Gleason is his usual excellent self as the hair tearing football coach!!
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