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BROWN OF HARVARD (1926)


Guest dredagain
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Ed,

 

Did you watch the version that I sent you about a year ago? A very nice quality print. If it had the Motion-Thumbs, than it was my program? Wish TCM would air this one, but hire Robert Israel, Philip Carli, David Davidson, or somebody who knows what they are doing to handle the scoring.

 

Probably William Haines most famous film! Mary Brian is great, I have enjoyed Her in every film I have seen her in. Jack Pickford's career was already winding down by this time. Never did spot John Wayne among the extra's? He is supposed to be there though?

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Yes Jeff it was yours... good job!

 

William Haines gets an "and with..." billing but he is the stars and he's just great.The film was a huge hit and is so well done. Mary Brian is just adorable. Jack Pickford (the nominal star) is also good.

 

The storm scene where Haines leaves the sickly Pickford because he thinks he's been cut from the football team is powerful. Pickford then gets a call from the coach asking where Haines is, so Pickford goes out into the rain and tries to catch the trolley but doesn't quite make it and gets dragged through the rainy streets! A scene worthy of Lillian Gish.

 

The other scene that got me was after the football game when Haines goes to visit Pickford in the hospital. For all his goofiness, Haines was a terrific actor.

 

Ralph Bushman (son of Francis X.) is also a the perfect rival for Haines and was also in THE GIRL SAID NO and WAY OUT WEST with Haines.

 

This film supposedly marks the debut of John Wayne as a Yale player but I never spot him.

 

Message was edited by: drednm

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Ed,

 

Here is my review again of this movie from last year:

 

This movie was A major Break out hit for William Haines at MGM, and is probably his most famous film? Haines had been coming along rapidly for a couple of years by this time. Previously having won over many fans opposite Mary Pickford, with his role of the brash "Joe Kelly" in the memorable United Artists feature LITTLE ANNIE ROONEY (1925). It seems that Haines un-screen characters were frequently Irishman named Kelly, for some reason?

 

Two years earlier in 1924, Miss Brian with her long flowing tresses and dollish face, was almost indescribably beautiful as WENDY in Herbert Brenon's production of PETER PAN (1924). Here She looks almost completely different, with her smartly bobbed hair! I almost had to do a double take to make sure that this was indeed the same young lady?

 

I say generously since on the train to the college Tom had treated this sappy naive kid quite badly! Forgetting what has gone before, Tom and Jed become fast pals. Jed is in-fact the only person that is let in on the truth. Believe it or no, much of Tom's bravado is a facade! He isn't quite so rotten as most everyone thinks He is! Surprisingly enough, He has a soft side, and can even admit though not publicly, when He was in the wrong!

 

Now when it comes to Women Tom is used to getting what He wants, and what He wants is Mary Abbott! Trouble is She is Bob MacAndrews girl! Nevertheless, He makes a play for her at a dance, and the two heated rivals get into some fisticuffs! Later still not speaking the two boys end up right next to each other in practice on the same rowing team for Harvard!

 

After still another miss-cue with Mary, Bob's rapidly growing distain for Tom Brown intensifies! Mary is tired of Tom taking liberties whenever He feels the itch and gives him the brush off! Never suspecting for a moment that He has legitimately become very serious about her! Now the big Regatta is coming up against arch rival Yale. MacAndrews is expecting to anchor the team, but He injuries his wrist. Tom is Bob's backup, but He has no idea He is needed for the boat race at all!

 

Oh, no, wouldn't you know it the very night before-hand He gets soused to the Gilroy's! Frantic Jed does his best to keep the coach in the dark, but though Tom has sobered up by morning, He collapses under the pressure as the race is coming to a close! Giving the victory to Yale! As Summer vacation beckons, the truth comes out about Tom's intoxicated state during the race, and He is disgraced! Tom reflects and vows not to return to Harvard!

 

When his father learns that his Son has fallen in love with Mary Abbott, He encourages Tom to go back and to fight for her! So he does. Fortunately, He has matured somewhat and is no longer the unbearable prankster of his Frosh year. As Sophomore's Tom and Bob each make the football squad.

 

Tom is a swift half-back who displays considerable skill at running the pig, while the muscular MacAndrews is a little used full-back in this ground oriented attack. There is much friction as Tom refuses to concede the victory to Bob over Mary! He is convinced that She is actually in love with Him, even though she stubbornly remains with Bob!

 

Jed who is always ill, is on the verge of walking pneumonia, when the school newspaper reports for some reason that Tom has been kicked off the team! This is on the eve of a big ball game too, Tom is shocked when he hears the news, he knows that his parents are coming in for the game, and feels that he has let his folks down! He decides to head home for the weekend and try to explain.

 

Just after Tom departs the coach calls the dorm looking for him, and demands to know from Jed why Tom has failed to report! The team is about to leave and the head man knows nothing of the erroneous reporting in the school paper! He tells Jed that He is giving Brown just 25 minutes to show up, or that He will be dropped from the squad for real!

 

The weather is mighty fearsome outside, and Jed in his weakened state ventures out into a torrential downpour determined to get the word to Tom! He spies Tom boarding a trolley car and races It down clinging outside to the bottom rung of the door! In the midst of the storm no one notices, until Jed is drug for several blocks!

Thanks to the poor Kid, who is now In serious condition Tom gets the news, but He puts Jed's health above all other concerns and manages to get him to an infirmary! The next day is the big game, and things happen mighty quick. I guess that I don't want to give the rest of the film away. I will say that there is both triumph and tragedy that lies ahead in this pictures final 20 minutes!

 

The TCM version of BROWN OF HARVARD is a nice sharp, clear Monochrome print. Although a portion of the film, where Jed first becomes so sick appears to be missing? This was among the vast wave of College Sports movies that swept Hollywood after the tremendous success of Harold Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN in the fall of 1925. Some others of note would be, Richard Barthelmass in THE DROP KICKER (1927), Buster Keaton's COLLEGE (1927), and William Haines yet again this time opposite Joan Crawford, in a very similar picture called WEST POINT from late 1927. In this one Billy's obnoxious character now called Brice Wayne, found himself back on the collegiate gridiron once more as a Hotshot Running-back for the Army!

 

In all honesty, WEST POINT though certainly not as well known, is probably the better movie? Both of them are still well worth seeking out however. For a brief time Haines was considered the biggest Male Star in Hollywood, and many of his films have not been widely seen in decades! By and large William Haines movies are well made, and remain quite entertaining after all these years. Has anyone else here seen this film before?

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good review..... It's an odd mix with Jack Pickford getting top billing (at MGM) rather late in his career, especially when William Haines dominates the film in the title role. Could Pickford have been considered a box office draw in 1926?

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Ed,

 

A couple of corrections. I got the original recording from Scottman. I added the menu, since it did not have one. I assumed that Scott had recorded it off TCM? But there are No Station bugs of any kind?

 

Later you said that BROWN OF HARVARD had never been shown on TCM? So even though this looks very much like a TCM print it apparently isn't? Though I wasn't aware of that when I posted this review about a year ago. It certainly appeared to be way to good of a quality for the Critic's Choice version? But I don't know? According to R. Michael Pyle there was an MGM VHS release years ago?

 

I would very much like to know why this film has never been broadcast? It certainly has none the deterioration we saw in SPRING FEVER last week.

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To my knowledge (and memory), TCM has not shown BROWN OF HARVARD, and you're right about their being no TCM identifiers on the film. I had bought a VHS version years ago but this version you sent is cleaner. There was also no credit for music, which was very good.

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