The Band Plays On (1934)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Sport


The Band Plays On (1934) Poster

A judge hands four wayward boys to a college football coach who turns them into backfield stars.


6.2/10
48

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10 May 2014 | boblipton
6
| Fictionalized Four Horsemen
This movie about the lives, loves and problems of four young friends who grow up to be the core of a winning college football team is very well put together. However, like other movies in which the storyline stretches over a long time, it seems unfocused and long-winded.

Given the large number of stars, up-and-coming actors and would-be stars, that's probably inevitable. There are some very good performances from people I would not expect to give them. Stu Erwin shows flashes of temper that are contrary to his usual milksop persona. Betty Furness, whose abilities as a movie actress usually began and ended with her having been Miss America, is sweet and believable. However, those sequences resort to a lot of chitchat and that is not very cinematic. Cameraman Leonard Smith compensates with a lot of traveling shots; editor William LeVanway uses a lot more wipes than MGM pictures typically did.

The result is a movie that is eminently watchable for its details and sequences but seems a lot longer in getting to the inevitable redemptive football game than the 87 minutes this clocks in at. It's an engrossing but unmemorable movie.

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