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The Band Plays On

(1934 b 87')

En: 5 Ed: 5


Four boys become football stars in college but are tempted to quit in order to make money in pro football.

In the city boys take a running car and are arrested. The judge sends Tony, Stuffy, Mike, and Julius to a playground, where coach "Howdy" (Preston Foster) teaches them football.

The "Four Bombers" win championships and go to Howdy's Pacific. Julius Rosenberg (William Tannen) tells Stuffy (Stuart Erwin) and Mike (Russel Hardie) that he and Tony (Robert Young) are going to be lawyers. Stuffy bought a present for Mike's sister Kitty (Betty Furness) with money he won on a game. They all go to Angelo (Leo Carrillo) for spaghetti. Tony tells Kitty he wants to marry her, but she advises waiting. Howdy says they broke training and that Mike is ineligible after failing physics. Angelo pleads with Profess Hackett (Henry Kolker) to give Mike another exam. After they tutor him, Mike passes. Joe (Ted Healy) tells his sister Kitty he can sign up the four with the pros, and he offers them $50 a game. Kitty dislikes it and calls Howdy, who tells the four to graduate before playing pro. Tony makes a bet with Joe, and Howdy does not start him. The next week Tony disappears. Angelo learns where he is and rushes with Stuffy; but he overturns the car, and Stuffy is badly injured. Angelo tells Tony, who goes to the hospital and cries in desperation. Angelo fights to get Tony's contract and burns it. Kitty calls Tony yellow.

Pacific loses four games without the Bombers. Kitty comforts Stuffy and says he is brave. Tony tells Stuffy that Kitty loves Stuffy. Howdy tells the board he won't coach the Bombers next year. Kitty asks Tony what is wrong, but he says nothing. Howdy visits Stuffy, who thinks that Pacific is winning. Stuffy comes home and says he can't play football anymore. Stuffy learns they haven't been playing and says that Howdy paid for his care, criticizing them. Tony, Mike, and Julius get in shape at a logging camp. Kitty talks with Tony. Howdy puts Tony, Mike, and Julius in the line and on the bench. Pacific is losing, and Tony asks Howdy to put them in. Stuffy sees Kitty rooting for Tony. Pacific ties the game, but Tony misses the extra point without Stuffy. Howdy says they are winners. Stuffy tells Tony that Kitty loves Tony. In the final scene Stuffy and Howdy see Tony kissing Kitty.

This drama reflects increasing interest in football and the dilemma of star athletes having to work menial jobs to get through college. The four delinquents learn to succeed by working together.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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