CREDITS
BACKGROUND
PLOT
REVIEW
MUSIC IN THE FILM


MGM.
Released October 5, 1934.
Directed by Charles F. Reisner.
Produced by Monta Bell.
87 minutes.

Original story: George Seaton, Arthur Bloch, and Samuel Marx. Screenplay: Ralph Spence and Philip Dunne. Music Director and Synchronization: Jack Virgil. Photography: Joseph Valentine. Art Director: Cedric Gibbons. Art Associates: Arnold Gillespie and Edwin B. Willis. Editor: Frank Hull. Dances: Chester Hale. Assistant Director: Sandy Roth. Sound: Douglas Shearer.

James [Jimmy] Durante (Hank Merman)
Charles Butterworth (Prof. Ethelred “Lippy”Lippincott)
Maxine Doyle (Ann Lippincott)
Phil Regan (Bobby Kane)
Florine McKinney (Lilith Lorraine)
Douglas Fowley (Mushy)
Monte Blue (Jeff Kane)
Betty Grable (Cayenne)
Fay McKenzie (Mary Lou)
Bobby Gordon (Jakie)
Mary Anita Loos (Dolores)
Pauline Brooks (Peggy)
Herman Brix [later Bruce Bennett] (Hercules)
Nelson Eddy (Himself)
Florence and Alvarez (Dancers)
Mary Jane Irving, Dorothy Short, Jean Seal, Edna May Jones, Susanne Thompson, Joan Sheldon, Maxine Nash, Joan Arlen [later Ann Rutherford], Vivien Reid, June Storey, Ercell and Clarice Wood (twins), Dixie Dean, Linda Parker, Margo Early, Mary Dees, Jerry Frank, George Bruggeman, Bryant Washburn Jr, Dale Van Sickel, David [Dave] O’Brien, Jack Lubell, Dudley James, Carlyle Blackwell Jr, Lyman Williams (Students)
Lynn Cowan (Master of Ceremonies)
Helen Chan (Sun Toy)
Eddie Hart (Steward)
Dutch Schlickenmeyer (Officer)
Herbert Prior (Grouch)
Minerva Urecal (Wife)
Carl Stockdale (Dean)
Arthur Hoyt (Assistant to Dean)
Dora Clemant (Wardrobe woman)
Dewey Robinson (Chinese warlord)
Nick Copeland (Waiter)
Frank Tang, Luke Chan (Chinese prisoners)
Sam Flint (Captain)
June Gittelson (Fat girl)
Tom Tamerez (Indian prince)
Arthur Wanzer (Elderly man)
Florence Roberts (Elderly woman)
Red Berger (Mailman)
Harry Strathey, Larry Wheat (Businessmen)
E. Alyn Warren (Saga)
Robert Stevenson (Bartender)
Fred Malatesta (French manager)
Dick Farham (Assistant manager)
Charles Fallon (Croupier)
Sherry Hall (Radio announcer)
Mischa Auer (Sikh policeman)
Edward LeSaint (Old graduate)
A. Barr Smith (English coxswain)
Robert Adair (English trainer)
Herbert Evans (English coach)
Neville Clark (Captain of English crew)
Otto Frisco, Eddie Daas, James Bell (Indian fakirs)
Sam Lewis (Jewish Hindu)
Jamiel Hasson (Indian policeman)


Background

After going unnoticed in two small parts, Eddy finally got a real showcase in Student Tour. It was his final “guest appearance” before being “discovered” in Naughty Marietta. The film was a college musical and distinctly a B, employing MGM’s superb second-string character actors in principal roles. Like all MGM B’s it had the gloss of a major production, but a lower payroll, fewer sets, and, in this case, a story that became episodic through lack of strong supervision between script and cutting room.


Plot

A philosophy teacher at a small west-coast college (Charles Butterworth, the ingenuous comedian of Love Me Tonight and The Cat and the Fiddle) flunks the college rowing team. The team must pass in order to go on a round-the-world tour to England to compete in a rowing match. The captain of the team (Phil Regan) is loved by the professor’s ugly duckling daughter (Maxine Doyle), who of course removes her glasses before the end of the film and becomes beautiful.

The professor agrees to accompany the team as they sail around the world, coaching them in philosophy on the way. Naturally he shares a stateroom with Jimmy Durante, the crew’s trainer. (MGM was again trying to mate Durante’s boisterous style with that of a quieter comedian as they had done disastrously with Durante and Buster Keaton.) The daughter attends a shipboard masquerade ball in a Pierrette mask and is unrecognized by the team captain, who falls in love with her.

The college vamp (Florine McKinney) convinces the captain that she was the masked girl and so the professor’s daughter has a conspiratorial scene with a mustachioed gentle­man (Eddy) who agrees to help her. It seems the professor’s daughter has done a bit of nifty tap-dancing while masked and her rival can’t do so much as a time step.

Each exotic port-of-call on the tour provides the excuse for a production number, and Monte Carlo is next. Eddy helps the heroine by singing “The Carlo,” a dramatic bolero by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown (“Singin’ in the Rain,” “Broadway Melody”) and she goes into her dance. The captain realizes his error in time for the heroine to act as coxswain and lead the boat crew to victory with a rousing song.


Reviews

“Nelson Eddy is worked into the final scene at a Monte Carlo party, effectively doing a baritone solo.” (Variety)


Music in the Film

Six of the songs were by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, including Eddy’s number, “The Carlo.” Eddy introduced this new dance, “performed by fifteen teams.” One additional song, “I Say It With Music,” was written for the film and performed by Jimmy Durante.