21 September 2015 | SimonJack
Variety musical with swing and comedy
"College Swing" is one of the many comedy-musical films that Hollywood produced during the 1930s. Once sound was added to motion pictures, it seems as though the public couldn't get enough of the variety type of musicals. As with most others, the plot is very thin, and in this one, very goofy. But it's just there to string together a number of very good songs, dance numbers and comedy routines. And "College Swing" is loaded with these and a great cast to carry them out.
Many big names of entertainment and the silver screen are in this film, most credited but some not. Films like this let the public see and hear a variety of otherwise unknown talents and groups perform. The band at the heart of the review numbers in the film is Skinnay Ennis. He didn't achieve the big-time fame of the likes of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, or some others. But his orchestras was a regular feature of Bob Hope's radio show, and later the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello radio show. His popularity from those led to solid bookings on the road circuit during summers.
Gracie Allen is the principal comedy character in "College Swing," followed by Martha Raye who also has some good musical numbers. Bob Hope's role was more as an emcee, although his character, Bud Brady, cooks up most of the shenanigans that provide some of the laughs. This film has a great supporting cast as well as some younger stars in small roles, such as Betty Grable and Jackie Coogan. This is a good film for those who enjoy swing music, especially as it was played and performed in its heyday.