Sunday, May 20, 2012


May Robson is a tough high-school principal, but she’s good-hearted enough to make an arrangement with coach Ward Bond to make sure the star football player will pass geometry.  However, she is hell on wheels against Alan Hale, a former student who now runs an ice cream fountain which fronts a hidden gambling backroom.  After a student shows Robson how to play craps, she busts in on a game and wins just enough money from Hale to rent an empty storefront across the street in order to open a more wholesome malt-shop hangout for the local teens, but when a fight breaks out at Robson’s place, the school board not only closes her down, but forces her out 2 years before her pension would kick in.  Baddie Hale has a change of heart and somehow manages to get the President of the United States, a former student of Robson’s, to stop by to sing Robson’s praises to the assembled townsfolk.  This mild comedy/drama takes place in a small town where Andy Hardy or Betty & Veronica might live, and the atmosphere is nicely set up.  Robson is her usual lively self, Fred MacMurry (in his first credited role) and Mary Carlisle are a cute couple who get caught up in Robson’s drama,  and Edward Van Sloan is a nasty school board member who plots against Robson.  If there’s not much to this, there’s also not much to say against it except the last 15 minutes is a little too sappy.  A tolerable if predictable character study which makes an interesting period piece now.  [TCM]

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