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Suppose there was a college where the instructors were some of our favorite thespians from the studio era? Who would your faculty members be? What classes would they teach? Please share your favorite choices for "professors" here!


My Classic Cinema College is a small school, so many of the academicians juggle two fields of study. Here are some of the professors whose classes I?d like to audit:


Edward Everett Horton, Full Professor of Management and Botany

Long experience in the non-academic world as an amanuensis to several show biz teams led to Prof. Horton?s marked interest in financial and personal management. Hums to himself quite often. Known as Lovey to his friends. No one knows why.


John Garfield, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Urban Studies and the Sweet Science.

His thesis (in progress): An examination of the fates, the destinies, whoever they are that decide what we do or don't get.

Sure, sure, so he doesn?t have tenure. What are you gonna do? Kill him? Everybody dies.


Cary Grant, Professor of Speech and Romance Languages

In addition to a polished way with words, he also holds the Huxley Chair in Paleontology. Has a marked aversion to leopard prints. Used to work in South America for a time, which may account for his deep tan. Likes to serve warm milk on a tray to his students after a good lecture.


Pat O?Brien, Professor of Art History and Sports and Fitness Administration

In addition to his coaching the football team, teaching sportsmanship and his other advisory duties, O?Brien also teaches?believe it or not?art history. Or at least he did once, though that is rumored to have ended badly with a crack up. Said to have an unfortunate but bright son with green hair. Often seen in the company of Prof. Cagney, (see below). Noted for his piety, but likes to have a good time.


Bela Lugosi, Professor of Paranormal Studies and Romanian History

Lectures are delivered only through the night school division. Has assistant Dwight ?flyboy? Frye, (other nickname: Renfrew), who acts as liaison between students and staff. Lugosi is quite popular with pale goth chicks, who follow him around campus in a pack.


Sam Jaffe, Professor of Comparative Religion and Medicine

Regarded as highly spiritual. Rumored that he hasn?t a leg to stand on during lectures. I hear that he also teaches a course on the history of Anglo-Indian colonial relations. Hobby: trumpet and mathematical equations.


Fred MacMurray, Professor of Chemistry and Band Director

Awarded the Nobel Prize for the invention of Flubber. Plays a mean saxophone.

Has a girlfriend in a really bad blonde wig who shows up at the darnedest times outside class, usually hiding behind the door.


Percy Kilbride & Marjorie Main, Co-Chairpersons, Agricultural & Animal Husbandry Dept.

Self taught Agronomy experts in their way, this pair shares the duties involved in running the fairly hectic, disorganized department. They are said to have numerous assistants, though no one is certain whether they have 15 or 16 aides. Professor Kilbride is noted for his slowly delivered lectures, during which Professor Main clarifies points using her booming speaking voice and occasional blasts from her shotgun.


Morris Ankrum, Professor of Military History

Retired military man, supposedly from the Air Force. Noted for his blank stare and intimate knowledge of meteors. His lectures, often given serially, tend to veer off at times into rants re: flying ships, (the possibility that he?s injecting classified info into lectures makes him quite popular with conspiracy theorists in the student body.).


James Cagney, Professor of Criminal Justice and Choreography

Allegedly used to be a big shot in the liquor business, or was it the taxi game?

His lectures are known to fly by as he delivers them quite quickly. Tough to take notes, though. A fascinating instructor in the art of movement. Afflicted with periodic migraines.


Edward Arnold, Professor of Business & Ethics

Wrote the book on business practices of the Gilded Age and Depression era.

Somewhat controversial in his devilish views but quite popular with students due to a mellifluous voice that carries to the back of any amphitheater. He?s also rumored to be a great laugher.


Robert Cornthwaite, Professor of Biology, specializing in Arctic Studies

Controversial lecturer noted for his belief that knowledge is more important than life.

Privately, it is rumored that his development was not handicapped by emotional or sexual factors. A noted snappy dresser, favoring ascots and blazers with some obscure insignia on the breast pockets. Works with a more approachable assistant, Prof. Edward Franz, who tries to act as a buffer between disgruntled staff and the frosty Cornthwaite.


Michael Rennie, Visiting Professor of Astronomy

Interesting lecturer whose smooth style and mild manners belie his blunt, somewhat superior attitude toward his sometimes startled students when, on the first day of class, he delivers an ultimatum regarding classwork, using a characteristic royal ?we?. He usually states that ?Your choice is simple. Join us and live in peace or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you. ?

Shares digs with Professor Jaffe, (see above). Hobbies: carpentry and electronics.


Eve Arden, Professor of Women?s Studies and the Sociology of the Family

Known for her keen intelligence and sharp tongue, the lady prof says that she?s convinced that alligators have the right idea since they eat their young. Popular gal at faculty dos, since she?s the only single distaff member among the pedagogues, though she claims that the looks she sometimes get leave little on her and she?s afraid she might catch cold. Rumored to have dated a Mr. Boynton at her old school, though accounts of this individual range wildly from a description of him as ?looking like a Greek god with gray hair? to a ?nebbish?. Hobby: cats

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I suppose the cafeteria could be run by Marie Dressler, whose food handling is shared with a tall Swedish job on the chow line, who calls back to her for "More chipped beef on toast, 'n don't be stingy, baby." And as the dishwasher and busboy, one Wallace Beery could be scrubbing up out in the pot room.

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A beautifully written thread. Thank you, moirafinnie6. I can picture Wallace Beery washing the dishes (while hanging a lit cigarette from his lip); but I think fellow students George "Spanky" McFarland and Jackie "Butch" Jenkins would be the busboys. Work Study program, ya know...

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Those busboys better tread lightly. It seems that every time they go near the Swedish job in the course of their duties, she snarls at them that she "vants to be alone". And watch out for that dishwasher when he starts hittin' the sauce. He mumbles something about how he used to be a "captain of industry" back in the Fatherland, and then he rambles on about some message to a guy named Garcia.


Hmmmm, who should we hire for the registrar's office? And we still haven't filled the positions in the English or Art depts. & those Geography classes need someone with a keen sense of direction...Oh, my, this application from a certain Miss Joan Crawford to teach Early Childhood Education certainly looks promising. I guess she really wants the job, but she needn't have gone to all the trouble of starching the pages of her application. Any other ideas for personnel?


Oops---here comes the janitor---and look, he's been drinking again! Oh that scamp Arthur Kennedy really must pull himself together---at least button up both sides of his overalls. If he'd just sober up, if only for the sake of his children and poor wife, Betty Field, who is housekeeper for some of the professors.

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Being an early childhood educator of long standing, moira, I would suggest that the Selection Committee do a reference check and a Criminal Record Search before hiring Miss Crawford. I am not sure she is a team player [she may have some ideas that are a bit "outside the box"] and might not fit into the mix of faculty already in place.


I would go so far as to say that I would rather have someone like Robert Benchley or W.C. Fields heading up the Early Childhood Care and Education branch; they may have a bit less experience but are certainly hard workers, and may find their way into the job with a little positive reinforcement.


P.S. I'll be brown-bagging it until further notice.

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Loved, John Garfield?s summary. He is STILL working on his thesis!! Ha! What a hoot! Mickey Borden is one of my all time favorite characters. He will be a brilliant professor if he ever gets that chip off his shoulder! Ha!


Brava! Very well done!!!


And, Greta in the KITCHEN, what a scream!!! I can?t stand it. You have got me all hopped up on this. I want to play. Can any of us write summaries on professors, or kitchen help?

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Your classic cinema college is one of the best things I've read (this forum) for a long time. Good idea!


I would like to fit Vincent Price at some position in your college...maybe, the Edgar Allen Poe Professor of Creative Writing, English Department.


And, please...please...please...no mention of Robert Taylor as a Professor of Forestry...okay?



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Of course we want as many applications to the faculty, staff and student body as possible--Please feel free to submit any and all ideas to the thread!


Thank you for all your kind words regarding this idea. It came to me on a slow day at the salt min---er, i mean my wonderful, creative, remunerative position in the great wheel of life.


P.S. Confidentially, I really crack myself up sometimes... it's so great to share humor and love of old (and new) movies.


P.P.S. Garbo, that John Garfield one makes me smile too---he's one of my favorite all-time actors & I knew that he'd probably cause some friction in any organization that he attempted to join.


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Gregory Peck, Professor of Psychology and Squinty Cowboy Authenticity. Lectures are said to hold students spellbound, especially if delivered on the beach. Married to Dr. Greer Garson, who specializes in aiding patients in the recovery of amnesia when not discovering radium.

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Burt Lancaster, Director of The School of Dentistry. Course includes Flossing, whiting and eating up the screen. Past graduates include Cesar Romero, Julia Roberts , David Letterman and Lauren Hutton. Motto: Give me teeth like his! Classes start soon................



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"For the registrar's office...I think Tallulah Bankhead would be a hoot!!"


Well, she would be a hoot, but I'm afraid she wouldn't be very productive. I wouldn't be surprised if she overstayed her lunch breaks, and in fact, lunched on martinis.


I'm going to refer Thelma Ritter for this position. She's heard it all, and won't take any guff from the student body. She's very professional and will get the work done.


And I'd like to suggest Deborah Kerr for an art position. I understand her specialty is figurative drawing, and is able to sensitively render her subjects and as well as impart a great deal of wisdom. Both Vincent Price and Edward G. Robinson would make fine Art History professors.

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Hedy Lamarr, Professor of Human Sexuality and Astonomy.


As our most glamorous faculty members, Dr. Lamarr studied in Africa doing her undergraduate work in Algiers and her thesis at the University of the Congo. She also spent a great deal of time on sabbatical studying the manipulation and mental processes of the masculine mind in Gaza on the coast of Israel as the assistant to the head of studies there, jokingly referred to as the Saran, George Sanders. Dr. Lamarr, who is currently between ?engagements,? is also an expert on the Heavenly Bodies guiding our destiny. Hobbies: dabbling with anti-jamming devices for weaponry and collecting pearls.

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This class would only be available in the auditorium as attendance would be expected to be beyond normal classroom capacity. Could we get private detention?



I'd like to nominate Dan Duryea as Professor Of Advanced Nastiness. He could be the original Prof. Evil. He may specialize in the art of the dirty laugh. Majoring in intimidation. Specializing in exploiting weaknesses in others.


Wouldn't Groucho double as Prof of Rhetoric?


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Kirk Douglas: Dean of the School of Hard Knocks and Broken Hearts


Former boxer, musician and all around breaker of women's hearts from coast to coast. Prof. Douglas holds class in the auditorium that once featured the works of Vincent Van Gogh.

Female students are said to swoon in class, especially on days when Prof. Douglas breaks out his trumpet to teach the art of seduction and music. Boys are said to leave mock ups of chopped off ears on his desk instead of apples.


When not teaching, Prof. Douglas hangs out with Prof. Lancaster. Often argues with Prof. Garfield over who has played more bad boy roles.


In the faculty lounge, the female teachers and staff travel in packs so as to avoid falling for Prof. Douglas and his cleft chin.


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Thanks, movieman! I forgot about that! Over croweded, perhaps, but very few "drops" in her class!

Loved the Duryea, "Specializing in exploiting weaknesses in others!" Too much!


lz, love The Man With A Horn reference, and hangin' out with Prof. Lancaster!

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Toshiro Mifune, Department Head of Culinary Arts

As well as Department Head, he teaches courses in knife skills, showing the students how to cut through a tin can and still be able to slice through a tomato; and garde manger which includes elaborate fruit designs, butchering and ice sculpting.


Professors in his department include:


Professor Donna Reed

Not only will students learn conventional stove top cookery, but Professor Reed also offers unconventional cooking methods, such as roasting chickens in a fireplace using a makeshift phonograph-rotisserie.


Professors Moe, Larry and Curly

Students under their tutelage in the Baking and Pastry classes will learn how to bake, fill, decorate, throw and toss cakes, pies and cream puffs.


Professor Frank Sinatra

Those looking for a Master's in mixology will do well to take this master mixologist's course. In addition to setting them up, Professor S teaches the fine art of ear bending, and torch drowning. Course includes field trips to Jilly's, Toot Shor's, the Stork Club and the Sands Hotel (Attention: this course begins at 2:45 AM and concludes at the Professor's discretion).


Professor Orson Welles

We are excited to now offer Professor Welles's course in Viniculture. Students will learn about grape varieties, regions, growing conditions, harvesting, wine/food pairings, bouquets and bodies, and most importantly, to sell no wine before its time.


And now, a message from Professor Welles ...



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One delightful addition to the faculty after another is as superb as the last!


May I make a suggestion re: Mssrs. Moe, Larry and Curley? Could they also offer their world famous skills as dog groomers extraordinaire to our students as an extension course? After all, no one cleans, shines and rotates the tires on a dog better.


I'm a bit worried about having Mr. Marx as part of the administration, though. We all know that anytime he comes to the office his aides, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and that impossible Gummo will also be showing up. I mean, the harp music and piano accompaniment are nice and all, but really, this is a place of business! What will Mrs. Dumont say at the next board of trustees meeting? Marx can't sweet talk the ol' broad out of auditing the books forever.


I, too, share the concerns expressed over Miss Bankhead overseeing the registrar's office. Not only does she drink on the job, but it's practically impossible to keep her from doffing those satin gowns she keeps wearing to the office at the drop of a hat. I mean, hey--it's all I can do to get her to wear underwear, much less conduct herself in a professional manner.


I do think that Miss Ritter is more than up to the position of registrar, though it must be made clear to her that her sarcasm must be kept to herself. Just the other day, that nice Gish girl came crying to my office that Ritter's response to her explanation about her failure to pay her tuition on time had been met with a skeptical look and the comment "What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end." When I phoned Miss Ritter to discuss the matter she said something derisive like, "Yeah, sure, she's just another orphan in the storm."


Oh my, look at the time. I've got to go meet Prof. Jimmy Stewart, (Professor of Optics & Photography) at Martini's Lounge to discuss the choice of candidates for the Elwood P. Dowd grant. We've got to choose someone in the student body who's oh so smart or oh so pleasant.

Wish me luck---last time I tried to get together with Stewart's teaching assistant Mr. Harvey to discuss our ideas for this grant he was a no show!

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