All-American Co-Ed

  • Hal Roach / United Artists, 1941, B/W, 51 minutes, **½
  • Released October, 1941

Wacky crossdressing comedy from Hal Roach Studios. When an all-girl school insults a pack of macho guys from Quinceton University they decide to put one of their own into a dress and have him enter a beauty contest. Frances Langford, Johnny Downs, Harry Langdon star.

Pretty cute for a “B” movie. The plot is paper thin, but it’s fun watching the Mar Brynn girls and the Zetas from Quinceton sing and dance. Frances Langford is always fun. The production number that the Mar Brynn girls put on is really cute!

The print used to make this DVD is quite nice!

The title reel includes this statement: “Any similarity to actual college life depicted in this picture is purely coincidental.”

Hal Roach Presents

  • Produced and Directed by: LeRoy Prinz
  • Assistant Director: Eddie Montagne
  • Adapted by: Kenneth Higgins
  • From an Original Story by: LeRoy Prinz and Hal Roach, Jr.
  • Screenplay by: Cortland Fitzsimmons
  • Musical Score: Edward Ward
  • Songs: “I’m a Chap With a Chip on My Shoulder,” “Up at the Crack of Dawn,” “The Farmer’s Daughter” by Walter G. Samuels and Charles Newman; “Out of the Silence” by Lloyd B. Norlin
  • Art Direction: Charles D. Hall
  • Set Decorations: W. L. Stevens
  • Gowns by: Irene Saltern
  • Costumes by: Travilla
  • Made by: Jack’s
  • Sound Recording by: William Randall
  • Director of Photography: Robert Pittack
  • Photographic Effects: Roy Seawright
  • Film Editor: Bert Jordan

Awards

  • Academy Award nominations for Best Score – Musical (Edward Ward) and Best Song (“Out of the Silence”), music and lyrics by Lloyd B. Norlind

Cast

  • Frances Langford [Virginia]
  • Johnny Downs [Bob Sheppard]
  • Marjorie Woodworth [Bunny]
  • Noah Beery Jr. [Slinky]
  • Esther Dale [Matilda]
  • Harry Langdon [Hap Holden]
  • Alan Hale Jr. [Tiny]
  • Kent Rogers [Henry]
  • Allan Lane [2nd Senior]
  • Joe Brown Jr. [3rd Senior]
  • Carlyle Blackwell Jr. [4th Senior]
  • Irving Mitchell [Doctor]
  • Lillian Randolph [Washwoman (Deborah)]
  • The Tanner Sisters [Vocal Trio: Mickey Tanner, Betty Tanner, Martha Tanner]

Musical Program

  • [0:00] Queen of the Flowers (instrumental intro behind titles, sung and danced by Zeta Fraternity in drag, solo by Johnny Downs)
  • [0:01] I’m a Chap with a Chip on My Shoulder (sung and danced by Johnny Downs and Chorus of Zetas – all in drag)
  • [0:04] I’m a Chap with a Chip on My Shoulder (excerpt sung by Frances Langford)
  • [0:14] Up at the Crack of Dawn (sung by The Tanner Sisters, Marjorie Woodworth, and the Mar Brynn Girls)
  • [0:25] Out of the Silence (sung by Frances Langford and Mar Brynn Girls)
  • [0:39] The Farmer’s Daughter (music begins in background – production number with Frances Langford, The Tanner Sisters, Johnny Downs and Chorus of Mar Brynn Girls includes a segment of Ziegfeld Girl look-alikes dressed as vegetables!)