So This Is College (1929)

Film Review


Release Date: 8 November, 1929

Studio: MGM

Director: Sam Wood

Starring: Elliot Nugent, Robert Montgomery, Sally Star


Eddie and Biff are pals, roommates, and star halfbacks on the USC football team. They share everything, even their girlfriends. When Biff falls in love with Babs, a pretty coed, Eddie promises to stay away from her. Babs, however, has made no promises. She picks up Eddie in her car, kisses him, and spends the evening with him. Biff is angry at Eddie's betrayal, and the friends quarrel. The USC versus Stanford football game is Saturday, and Biff and Eddie are expected to star for USC. Due to their enmity, neither plays well in the first half of the game. At halftime, the coach threatens to remove them from the game. Biff and Eddie hear a familiar voice outside the locker room; it is Babs with another young man. She tells him that neither Biff nor Eddie means anything to her. In the second half they play hard, and after Eddie is removed from the game with a knee injury, Biff wins it with a field goal. Afterwards the friends meet another pretty coed and resume their usual rivalry.


As is typical with college-oriented movies, this film has little relationship to actual college life. However, ignoring that fact allows the viewer to enjoy a pleasant early talkie that is populated by actors with long careers ahead of them. Elliot Nugent, in his first film, was beginning his initial period in Hollywood, acting in several films and writing scripts. When his contract was not renewed by MGM, Nugent returned to New York in late 1930. He was back in Hollywood in 1932. During the next twenty years he directed 30 films. This was also the first film appearance of Robert Montgomery (age 25) who had another 35 years as actor and director ahead of him. The great Western star Joel McCrea, also at the beginning of a long, productive career, plays the young man, whom Babs prefers to Biff and Eddie. Ward Bond, who later became a regular in John Ford's films, was an actual member of the USC football team and is briefly seen in the locker room.