Thursday, March 27, 2008


Silly second-feature comedy about some middle-aged men who visit their old college and get into all kinds of trouble. Hugh Herbert is a dithering alumnus who now teaches economics at his alma mater; he gets old pals Walter Abel and Charles Butterworth (another prime ditherer) to attend the latest Homecoming. Abel and Butterworth are business partners who want to clinch a deal with the college, so they go for the weekend. Una Merkel, Herbert's wife, was an old flame of Abel's and thinks she feels sparks developing again; Edith Atwater, Abel's wife, encourages his flirtation as a way for him to loosen up, but doesn't realize how far Merkel is willing to go. The best scene is a drunken frolic between Abel and Merkel which almost breaks up both marriages, but this being a comedy, by definition all wrongs are righted by the end. Walter Catlett plays another visiting alumnus, a blowhard politician. There is an amusing scene of the students performing "Othello" with Merkel as Desdemona (being a boy's school, there are no other available females, so she performs this duty annually). I like Walter Abel when he's in a supporting role (as the manager in HOLIDAY INN, for example) but he seems a little out of his element here; however, he is needed as balance for the silly Herbert and Butterworth duo who got on my nerves occasionally. Actually, all three actors are better off as supporting color rather than being the stars of the show. [TCM]

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