Director/actor Elliot Nugent seems attracted to college tales, judging from this film and THE MALE ANIMAL (which he starred in on Broadway and directed on film). And it must have seemed a good idea to put CLIFTON WEBB, as Belvedere, the self-proclaimed genius, into a college setting so he could show everyone how smart he was even before getting a degree, but somehow MR. BELVEDERE GOES TO COLLEGE just misses the mark.
Not that everyone doesn't try. SHIRLEY TEMPLE, then still at a difficult stage in her adult career and returning to Fox for this co-starring role for the first time since her child career ended, is pert and pleasant as a young woman having an affair with TOM DRAKE, but their chemistry isn't there. And JESSE ROYCE LANDIS has her usual role as a meddling mother with ALAN YOUNG supplying some good comic support. But the end result is a mediocre comedy that fails to come up to the standards of what one expects from a Mr. Belvedere story.
Webb is witty and Temple is charming, but still the film flounders when it should sparkle and just possibly Elliot Nugent is partly to blame, although the script is certainly below par.
Summing up: It's trivial stuff, but if you keep your eyes open you might spot JEFF CHANDLER in a brief role as a policeman.
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