Movie Critique - Blondie Goes to College
Stars: 5 / 5
Recommendation: It’s just not Blondie, but Dagwood also who goes to college, which makes very little sense considering they have a child to look after. But it gave us a very funny movie with laughs from the beginning to the end.
Blondie Goes to College is a 1942 comedy film and the tenth of the twenty-eight films made under Blondie series by Columbia. The films are based on the characters created by Chic Young in the comic strip of the same name. Penny Singleton plays the titular role of Blondie Bumstead and Arthur Lake as Dagwood Bumstead, her husband.
Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead end up going to college but realize that couples are not allowed. So they pretend not to be a couple. However they face trouble when Laura Wadsworth (portrayed by Janet Blair) starts flirting with Dagwood and Rusty Bryant (portrayed by Larry Parks) does the same with Blondie.
Blondie was one of my favorite comic strip too growing up, and had read several of those books from my local library or school library as a kid. So when TCM aired this film a few days ago I couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch it.
Columbia Pictures produced Blondie films from 1938 thru 1943 and then from 1945 thru 1950. Singleton and Lake reprised their roles in every single one of these movies. Columbia also used the Blondie movies to showcase several of their actors on their payroll. In this film Larry Parks and Janet Blair get the center stage.
The opening credits are funny and cute. They are printed with a backdrop of mail - letters, postcards, etc.
In a recent movie that I saw, the 1938 The Mad Miss Manton, Penny Singleton portrayed the role of Frances Gelsk. Soon after that role she slid into the part of Blondie leading her into a very successful career on film and radio. She had dyed her hair blonde for the role.
Arthur Lake makes a convincing Dagwood Bumstead. And boy oh boy, what mishaps he has continuously at every turn of the street, literally. With funny dialogues all through, the comedy doesn’t wear on you even it becomes a repeat. The chemistry between the Bumsteads is such that it doesn’t seem like acting, but it does make us feel we are traversing through the lives of a real family.
Their wish to recapture their youth again by going to back to college only turns out to be a comedy of errors, especially when each are being pursued by Rusty Bryant and Laura Wadsworth respectively.
It’s just not Blondie, but Dagwood also who goes to college, which makes very little sense considering they have a child to look after. But it gave us a very funny movie with laughs from the beginning to the end. Loved it as much as the books. Now I am curious to see the remaining movies of Blondie in the series.
1) Movie Trivia:
a. Earlier in his career, Arthur Lake had starred in a series of comedies called "The Collegians" which have many similarities with this film.
b. In 1939 Singleton and Lake reprised their roles in a radio series based on the comic stirp, which lasted almost as long as the film. In mid-1940s though Lake's wife Patricia replaced Singleton on radio.
c. See Larry Simms as Baby Dumpling Bumstead in the film.