Local Boy Makes Good (1931)

Passed   |    |  Action, Comedy, Romance

Local Boy Makes Good (1931) Poster

John is a timid student who works at the University Book Store. He is studying to be a botanist and has a secret crush on the lovely Julia. One day, one of his letters gets accidentally ... See full summary »

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5 October 2003 | Ron Oliver
| Not Many Laughs For Joe
A LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD when a shy botany student joins the University of Ohio's track team to impress the beauty queen he idolizes.

Comic Joe E. Brown does the best he can in this not-very-funny collegiate comedy, going over the same ground Harold Lloyd plowed to greater effect during silent days. It is not Brown's fault, the script is almost unrelenting in denying him any significant laughs. Not until the final sequence, when Brown must prove himself at the big track meet or forever live in ignominy, does he come into his element - with the help of a pretty girl's kiss and a strong shot of alcohol. Even the intensely annoying rear screen projection cannot destroy the fun of watching Joe ham it up.

Dorothy Lee, temporarily escaped from Wheeler & Woolsey, plays the girl of Joe's dreams. As ever, she is kewpie-doll cute and it is great to see her, but her role as a psychology student desperate to engage with Joe's emerging libido is rather bizarre and a bit risqué. Easier to swallow is lovely Ruth Hall, the coed who admires Brown in silence. Edward Woods is Miss Lee's bullying boyfriend who can't wait to dig his spikes into Brown's flesh. Edward J. Nugent plays the team captain who befriends Joe after witnessing his remarkable sprinting ability.

Movie mavens will recognize Maude Eburne as a sympathetic maid.

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