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  • In this second installment of the Mr. Belvedere series, our brilliant hero has decided to go college! Apparently, he was entirely self-taught but after years of being an expert at practically EVERYTHING, he finally saw a need for a formal education. His plan is to complete all four years of school in only one--and considering his many, many talents you naturally assume he'll succeed.

    Oddly, you never actually see Belvedere in a single classroom scene--none! Instead, the film focuses on his extracurricular and work activities. Through these, he's able to do a lot to help all those around him and even his most ardent opponents were thoroughly won over by him by the end of the film. Three cheers for Mr. Belvedere!!!

    I might have scored this film even higher--after all, I really enjoyed the film and in particular the wonderful character of Mr. Belvedere (who I'd seen in his previous film, "Sitting Pretty"). Clifton Webb was simply marvelous in this title role. However, the film had one serious problem that impaired my enjoyment of the film--and my wife was so frustrated with the problem that she actually started yelling at the TV set!! Really...I am not kidding. The character played by Shirley Temple was simply annoying--badly written and petulant for absolutely no reason. She simply was not a character but a cliché--and roles like these may have contributed to her retiring from films shortly after this film. After all, with films like this and "That Hagan Girl", it was obvious that Hollywood had no idea what to do with the grown up Ms. Temple--and you have to feel sorry for her in such thankless roles. But fortunately, apart from this, it's a nice and enjoyable film from start to finish. And, I sure wish that Clifton Webb had made more than only three Belvedere films!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Although Mr. Belvedere Goes To College does not quite reach the standards set by Sitting Pretty which introduced America's favorite genius to the screen, it's still a pretty funny film. If of course you can conceive the idea that Mr. Belvedere was self taught.

    People who advocate for home schooling should be the biggest advocates for this film. We find out here that all that Belvedere has learned in the many fields he's a genius at, was self taught. He never went to college, but now someone on some project he's engaged in wants that degree as part of his resume. So Clifton Webb as Belvedere agrees to go to college and get the degree. Furthermore he says to Paul Harvey the president and Taylor Holmes the dean that he will complete the school in one year. Can you imagine the amount of credits the man was carrying in a semester?

    Just like in Sitting Pretty when Maureen O'Hara thinks she's hiring a female housekeeper with Lynn Belvedere, Alan Young thinks it's a big old joke to send Webb over to a sorority house in the same function. But he proves to be quite indispensable to house mother Jessie Royce-Landis and cook Lotte Stein.

    Webb also gets to be cupid for widowed mother Shirley Temple and Tom Drake who is Royce-Landis's son. I have to say though the ending was silly and contrived. No matter what the circumstances, I can't see Mr. Belvedere being in such a rush that he would forget to put on his pants. One of the cops who arrests him is Jeff Chandler.

    Best scene for me in the film was Webb defeating Alan Young at the pole vault during a track meet, winning the meet for the freshman class and giving some comeuppance to Young. He also broke his own world record doing so.

    My only question is what field did Mr. Belvedere get his degree in when he graduated?
  • SnoopyStyle10 September 2020
    Lynn Belvedere (Clifton Webb) is forced to go to college. He has been awarded a $10k literary prize but he must be a college graduate. He needs the money despite the success of his book due to the numerous libel suits. Despite being without even a high school diploma, he intends to finish the 4 year course in one year. Journalism student Ellen Baker (Shirley Temple) is desperate for an interview. Belvedere takes a job at a sorority.

    After the success of the first movie, it's obvious to return Clifton Webb to reprise his Belvedere character. I don't mind dumping the family but Belvedere is best when he has to deal with little kids. There is a magic to the chemistry when a child with no preconceived notions try to connect with the oddity that is Belvedere. That magic is missing in this movie. It tries to replace it with a more grown Shirley Temple. I kept wondering if a little precocious young Shirley would be a great comedy partner to Mr. Belvedere. Now that would have been a fun time.
  • 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.
  • In the aftermath of WWII, America's fighting men are returning home, and many of them are using the G.I. Bill to attend college. Also enrolling is Lynn Belvedere, successful author, autodidact, and self-acknowledged genius. We first met him in Twentieth Century Fox's "Sitting Pretty". Though nothing about Mr. Belvedere would surprise us, it is odd to see a man of his age living the life of a frosh. And so this fish-out-of-water story begins.

    Another student attending Clemens is Ellen Baker, played by Shirley Temple with grace and the sureness of an acting veteran. Her path intersects Mr. Belvedere's and sets up the main part of the story.

    Mr. Belvedere is one of the great comic characters and Clifton Webb portrays the master of all trades with precision. The writing allows the character to be almost churlish, as someone who must endure the imperfections of others, while remaining a man of principle.

    This film is fairly simple in its premise (like Rodney Dangerfield's "Back to School), and it likewise spends little time moralizing, content to entertain in the broadest of ways. In that regard, it is very successful. Mr. Belvedere is no fuddy-duddy; he's a ducky shincracker, too!
  • Clifton Webb was better in serious movies than in his comedies. One has only to look at "The Razor's Edge" or "Laura" to see him at his best.

    The Mr. Belvedere movies had a following, clearly. And this is not awful. It has good supporting characters like Tom Drake and Shirley Temple. (They do not convince as a romantic pair, however.) And Jessie Royce Landis is lots of fun as Drake's mother.

    The title character's high opinion of himself fits right in with today's cellphone culture. He is the center of the universe. He has done everything. He knows everything. Everyone is beneath him.

    The single mom subplot was not unique in the forties but, also, is timely today.
  • It s especially significant that this is the first and only time Shirley Temple returned to 20th Century Fox after her reign as the studio's top child star. She is very appealing in this film. This proves that they could, and should, have groomed her for juvenile leads.

    As for Clifton Webb, who plays the title character, his performance is very multi-dimensional. When the police think he is a peeping tom and he is crawling through windows-- hiding out in the halls inside Shirley's apartment building-- it reminds this writer of Waldo Lydecker from Laura. There is a creepiness and danger that he brings to some of these scenes that is both disturbing and fascinating.
  • myronlearn4 October 2020
    Not a bad follow up to the great 'Sitting Pretty' made the year before. Who can't love Clifton Webb? The all grown up Shirley Temple adds to the fun. All in all, it's a pretty good film but lacks much of the sophisticated dialogue of 'SP'!
  • jhkp7 September 2013
    I'm a fan of Clifton Webb and have seen most of his films, including the three Mr. Belvedere pictures. In my opinion this one is the weakest of the three, though still enjoyable.

    There are a lot of possibilities offered by this situation: the self-styled and eccentric, acerbic but essentially lovable genius, Lynn Belvedere, entering college as a freshman, at an advanced age. I don't think these possibilities are fully explored, to say the least.

    A lot of the movie focuses on Shirley Temple as a struggling young single mother/student, and some of this side of the picture is tedious. Shirley as a young adult is charming, but a limited actress, though it would take a Bette Davis to make that character interesting. I was sorry the movie went in this direction; it should have focused more on Belvedere.

    On the plus side, the Fox studio had a way with college settings, whether it was Mother Is A Freshman, Father Was A Fullback, Take Care Of My Little Girl, Apartment For Peggy, or many others. The atmospherics of the setting are well exploited here, too.

    So don't expect anything quite as bright, witty, or delightful as Sitting Pretty. This is just a nice little time-passer with the great Clifton Webb doing his Belvedere bit, which is still funny and unique, and worth seeing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    1949 was a year of middle-aged film stars suddenly deciding to go to college. Loretta Young did it in "Mother is a Freshman", Fred MacMurray did it in "Father was a Fullback", and Clifton Webb does it here, as middle-aged Mr. Belvedere, who is in such a hurry to graduate that he announces to unbelieving ears that he will complete the 4 year curriculum in one year. Then, he will be eligible for a literary prize that he covets. He does just that, although we never see him attend a class, raising the suspicion that his is an honorary degree..........As usual, Webb plays a pomptious character. Here, he is mostly entertaining in arrogantly demonstrating ,time and again, that he is a supergenius, although he is made to wear a freshman beanie. He is also a superathlete, who ties the school record for high jump, with himself 27 years ago!? ...........Meanwhile, cute, charming, Shirley Temple is a journalism senior and editor of the school newspaper. Initially, she is shocked that such a well-known author is just starting college. After a while, they have a falling out, and Shirley refuses to let him into her apartment, hence he is arrested as an apparent peeping Tom when he attempts to enter by other means than the door. Her on again-off again romance with Tom Drake("Meet me in St. Louis") takes up much of the time not devoted to Mr. Belvedere's doings. Unexpectedly, we eventually learn that she is a widow, with a 5 year old boy, which she has been hiding from the college and from Drake. Just why she feels ashamed of this status isn't clear to me. Initially floored by this revelation, Drake pleads that this doesn't compromise his love for her. However, Shirley refuses to believe this, which serves as a point of contention for some time. Eventually, she relinquishes, and they graduate with Mr. Belvedere..........Shirley's post-little girl film career was very hit or miss, involving various studios. This was the only Fox film she did after starring with them as a little girl and this was her final year of appearing in Hollywood films. It was also the year she divorced her abusing first husband, who costarred with her in her next film. Despite frequent criticisms of her acting and roles during this period, I always look forward to seeing her in these films, as well as her classic little girl films. I've seen nearly all, now...........The film is available to rent at YouTube, or to buy at
  • Clifton Webb has done some of the wittiest characters in the Golden Age of Hollywood, whether the his dark sardonic role in Laura or the efficiency expert and father of 12 children in Cheaper by the Dozen, but I always loved Mr. Belvedere the best. He is unfailingly funny while never cracking a smile himself, he makes us smile always, with his genius, know it all brain, his past in knowing everyone who is anyone, and his expertise at everything under the sun. Clifton Webb could even play a romantic interest in Three Coins in a Fountain, still without cracking a smile and with the dry sardonic wit. And he was believable in all his roles. There has never been any actor quite like him before or since. Although dated in its attitudes towards women, this movie shows all of those qualities.
  • emenon7 October 2006
    Clifton Webb an old bachelor male actor played Lynn Belevedere in this movie. He was quite smart and a Genius at that. He knew all the answers. Also as a Hasher in the Girls Sorority house. He could play the piano, cook and teach the girls to waltz. What character and what spunk. I wish I could be like him. He also slept standing on his head in Jail. When the students came to bale him out, he told the Sergeant you ought to try it Yoga. It was amazing all what Clifton did. He was a jack of all trades. I give this movie an "A+." When he hit the pay phone at the police station to call J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, that was funny. He even removed the handcuffs by himself like Houdini. He said he taught Houdini. All of you readers must see this movie. You will be amazed at Clifton Webb. He didn't take any bluff either. At the end, when he graduated. The Dean gave him his diploma, he had a copy of Look magazine, with a photo graduating, at the same time. This movie is a must see. Good luck you all.
  • Mr Belvedere's character is a lot of fun to watch, he is the 1940s version of "the most interesting person in the world" - name it, he's not only done it, he invented it. No one should take this character seriously, so I don't follow the comments about being a perfect fit for "today's cellphone generation" (ah yes .. the youth of today are even worse then the last crop).

    The main aspect of the film I found "dated" is the idea that being a single mother (Ellen Baker - Shirley Temple) was such a huge scandal -- something that should be covered up, or a source of disgrace. Even given the morals of the time, what would be scandalous about a married women who lost her husband in the war? There must have been many women in this situation. Thank goodness we live in more liberal times.

    I also got a little exasperated with the old movie cliché of someone starting to explain their situation only to be cut off -- and then letting this misunderstanding carry the plot for the next half hour. My goodness, half the movies you see use this same tired plot device. Oh well, too late to complain. As I understand it, the writers and most of the characters are long since dead, so they don't care what I think. Except of course Mr. Belvedere who is surely sitting on a mountain somewhere in Tibet surfing the internet (which he invented).
  • This is a great movie starring Shirley at her best! As a teen she was just coming into her own, and I especially loved her acting at that age. Clifton Webb was sensational, and really steals the show! One person that has been left out of the credits though, is Jeff Chandler. He has a very small part at the very end of the film. He is one of the cops that breaks into Shirley's home. Although there is no close up of him, his voice is unmistakable, and his looks are so distinct you know it's him! It's worth seeing just to see him for those brief moments! All in all, a movie for anyone who like a good laugh and a good time!