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The Ritz Brothers with their concerted and well-timed insanity provide a new and entertaining twist to a typical football season offering about the coach's daughter and the winning game in "Life Begins at College" now at the Paramount and Fenway.
The brothers, starting out as the proprietors of the Kiassy Kampus Kleaners of Lombardy College, leave this job when they make themselves the custodians of an oil-rich Rodskin's $10,000 a day estate. While the Indian democratically mingles with the boys on the grid as their star back, the quarterback, whose position he takes (only once seen without a large capital "L" on his chest) has his troubles with the coach's blonde daughter, Gloria Stuart.
When the Indian is disqualified the day of the big game for having innocently played professional football back in Oklahoma, it gives a chance for the romantic quarterback to vindicate himself with everyone concerned.
The Ritz Brothers are the heroes of the occasion, however. Every time the men on the bench jump up to follow a play they move up three places from the bottom. By the time they are sitting beside the coach he is ready to send in what he thinks is the second-string back-field. Instead it is the Ritz Brothers who prevail on the captain not to accept substitutes by offering him a large bribe. After being penalized about 40 yards for their antics on the field one of them throws a long forward pass, catches it himself and runs for the winning touchdown.
But the story is relatively unimportant, for the Ritzes dominate each individual with their energetic buffoonery. Fred Stone played well the only serious part in the movie as the football coach. Nat Pendleton, former Olympic wrestling champion, is good as the Indian who, off the football field, is pursued by corknerow-featured Joan Davis.
All in all the tempo of this picture is fast and varied, and there are very few dull moments. What it lacks in smoothness of finish is made up for in its variety of action and swift comedy.
Co-featured is "Sophie Lang Goes West," an incredibly complicated mystery story about an (East) Indian who wants to lose a priceless diamond. The story deals with a reformed male crook and an unreformed female crook who succeed in falling in love with each other through their mutual efforts to keep just a plain crook from stealing the rock.
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