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Life Begins in College (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Music, Sport | 1 October 1937 (USA)
When a wealthy Indian student endows the college so they can keep the football coach rumor has it the Indian has played professionally and can't be on the team.


William A. Seiter


Karl Tunberg (screenplay), Darrell Ware (based on a series of magazine stories by) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Ritz ... Al Ritz
Harry Ritz ... Harry Ritz
Jimmy Ritz ... Jimmy Ritz
Joan Davis ... Inez
Tony Martin ... Band Leader
Gloria Stuart ... Janet O'Hara
Fred Stone ... Coach Tim O'Hara
Nat Pendleton ... George Black aka Little Black Cloud
Dick Baldwin ... Bob Hayner
Joan Marsh ... Cuddles
Jed Prouty ... Oliver Stearns Sr.
Maurice Cass Maurice Cass ... Dean Moss
Ed Thorgersen Ed Thorgersen ... Radio Announcer
Marjorie Weaver ... Miss Murphy
Robert Lowery ... Sling


When a wealthy Indian student endows the college so they can keep the football coach rumor has it the Indian has played professionally and can't be on the team.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life Begins in College See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Gloria Stuart took time in the middle of filming to meet with Ray Pearl. He was a huge fan of Gloria Stuart and had gotten his uncle to tattoo her portrait on his chest. He then hitch hiked from Chicago to Hollywood to meet her and show her his tattoo. She did agree to meet with him and was quoted by Life magazine, who covered and photographed their meeting as saying, "Oh my gracious" when she saw the tattoo. See more »


Why Talk About Love?
Music by Lew Pollack
Lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell
See more »

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User Reviews

I have hated the other Ritz Brothers films I've seen....and if anyone can get the most out of them it's director William A. Seiter.
18 September 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I've seen about half a dozen Ritz Brothers movies and have tried hard to like them...with no success. This was not the case with Wheeler & Woolsey. In their case, the more I watched, the more i enjoyed that comedy team. Perhaps, if I see more, I'll also grow to like the Ritz Brothers...or, I'll become suicidal! Now if anyone can get good performances out of the brothers, it should be the director of this picture, William A. Seiter, as he directed one of the greatest comedies of the 1930s...Laurel & Hardy's "Sons of the Desert". He also directed one of Wheeler & Woolsey's best, "Peach-O-Reno".

The film is set at Lombardy College and begins with Nat Pendleton arriving and making me groan. Why? He's supposed to be an American-Indian and it about as stereotypical and insulting as possible. Perhaps folks laughed at this in 1937 but today it just comes off as sad and painful to watch. It also actually had the purpose of making me look forward to seeing the Ritz Brothers enter the picture!

The plot involves the school and their losing football record...so they force Coach O'Hara to resign even though just about everyone likes him. The new Anerican-Indian student wants to help...and is fabulously wealthy. But he doesn't want anyone to know he's rich...otherwise folks (like the Ritz brothers) will want to become his friend. So, he asks the Ritz Brothers to pretend to be the donors and give the money a huge endowment...provided they keep O'Hara. This Indian also wants to be quarterback. What's next? Plenty!

In addition to the Ritz Brothers doing their schtick, Joan Davis is also on hand to provide comic relief...such as it is. Surprisingly, she manages to be more annoying than the Brothers, as hers is a strictly one-note performance as the man-crazy girl.

If it sounds like I didn't adore the film, you're right. However, oddly, it wasn't the Brothers' fault (though it usually is). The insulting Indian character and Davis manage to do a lot to make me dislike the film. Overall, a misfire and a film which has its moments...but it also has a lot to dislike as well.

By the way, I am not sure about the rules for football back in 1937, but I looked and today it IS legal for a quarterback to throw the ball to himself (even if it's not tipped) if he's lined up in the shotgun formation.

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