Series: Streamliner

Director: LeRoy Prinz
Producer: Hal Roach, LeRoy Prinz
Screenplay: Cortland Fitzsimmons
Photography: Robert Pittack
Editor: Bert Jordan
Art director: Charles D. Hall

Stars: Frances Langford, Johnny Downs, Marjorie Woodworth, Noah Beery Jr, Esther Dale, Harry Langdon
Company: United Artists
Released: 31 October 1941
Length: 5 reels
Production No.: F-38
Filming dates:
Rating: 5/10

All-American Co-Ed

Available on DVD:

Okay, um... well the film begins with the flashing of dancing legs on a stage... which turn out to be men. Johnny Downs is the Middleweight boxing champion-turned transvestite (aptly named "Queen of the Flowers") and takes to the stage at Quincetown University to sing and perform a number called "Flora Of The Fauna", complete with flashing eyelids and... well, you get the idea. It (finally) ends with the supporting men, dressed as ballerinas, fall over and the curtain comes down. Meanwhile over at the Mar Brynn Horticultural School For Girls... Virginia Collinge (Frances Langford) plays the previously-heard tune on her piano for newspaper reporter Hap Holden (Harry Langdon) to admire, though her aunt does not approve.
Hap convinces the aunt to offer out twelve scholarships to help her school. He proposes to write an article, "Man Least Likely To Succeed" for the school in order to gain some publicity. The guys over at Quincetown read the article and plan to infiltrate Mar Brynn by posing as girls. They chose Bob (Downs) to go first. His photograph is accepted as the twelfth scholarship (despite the fact he's a bloody guy - can't you see that?!!!) and his pals see him off at the train station. On the train the other scholarship hopefuls break out into song, dragging the film along with it whilst the viewer is trapped by the spectacle oh having to watch Bobbie (Downs) frantically getting dressed up in his berth. A lighter moment sees the train porter (Dudley Dickerson) joining in. The passengers arrive at Mar Brynn and are shown to their rooms, with Bobbie given his own room and it doesn't take long before he has guests.
After he is asked to assist Bunny (Marjorie Wooworth) with her hair, and then Virginia comes in to see him, Aunt Matilda comes in to put him to bed (after he has quickly disposed of his clothes down the laundry shoot thinking it was a cupboard. Wash-mam (the ever delightful Lillian Randolph) finds them and gets straight on the phone to complain whilst Bobbie retrieves the clothes when her back is turned. When Matilda comes down to investigate, the woman storms out excitedly!
That evening the girls are out on the lawn when Virginia breaks out in another song, "Out Of The Silence". As if the film couldn't get any slower. Bobbie ditches his wig and make-up and assumes his real identity to engage with Virginia by the bell tower. And damn, he doesn't waste time in molesting her just seconds after his introduction - kissing her full on the lips as she holds on to the bell... the bell rope that is. Later, she enters an office to discover the truth - that Bobbie is a man masquerading as one of the girls. A doctor determines that one of the girls has measels and puts the school under quarantine. Two college guys (Noah Beery Jr. and Alan Hale Jr.) show up at the school on a tip-off that one of the girls is a guy and begin their investigation, with Slinky (Beery) flirtingly trying his luck with Bobbie. Virginia takes to the stage with the last song, "The Father's Daughter" but during the song Bobbie loses her wig and Virginia realises he is a man. An eternity later, Bobby (now as a man) saves the show with the final performance and wins the girl. The end. Thank god. I don't think I could handle sitting through that shit ever again!

Favourite bit
The washroom mam Lillian Randolph goes nuts whilst trying to explain over the phone how the men's clothing she has discovered has suddenly gone missing - right in front of her own eyes! Her performance is simply brilliant.

Copyrighted October 30, 1941.
This was the third "Streamliner" film to be released.
The three songs composed by Walter G. Samuels & Charles Newman are I'm A Chap With a Chip On My Shoulder, which is sung by Johnny Downs on stage at the beginning; then Up At The Crack Of Dawn, sung by the girls on the train (with additional vocals from Harry Langdon!); and finally The Farmer's Daughter. A fourth song, Out Of The Silence was composed by Lloyd B. Norlin.
My opinion
Okay that opening sequence was just weird and just a little creepy. Definitely one of those films you would only want to watch once!

Frances Langford
Virginia Collinge
Johnny Downs
Bob Sheppard/Bobbie De Wolfe
Marjorie Woodworth
Noah Beery Jr.
Esther Dale
Aunt Matilda Collinge
Harry Langdon
Hap Holden
Alan Hale Jr.
Kent Rogers
Joe Brown Jr.
Third senior
Irving Mitchell
Lillian Randolph
Deborah, the washwoman
Allan Lane
Second senior
Dudley Dickerson
Dancing train porter
Marjorie Deanne
Watermelon Queen
Claire James
Corn Queen
Frank O'Connor
Margaret Roach
Tomato Queen
Marie Windsor
Carrot Queen
Peggy O'Neill
Grape Queen
Mitzie Uehlien
Cabbage Queen
Mickey Tanner
Tanner Sisters Trio
Betty Tanner
Tanner Sisters Trio
Martha Tanner
Tanner Sisters Trio
Carlyle Blackwell Jr.
Fourth senior
Jesse Graves
Elyse Knox
Patsy Mace
Celery Queen
Lorraine Miller
Cherry Queen
Sally Shaw


CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Jesse Brisson (identification of Marjorie Deanne, Margaret Roach, Marie Windsor; information on the Tanner Sisters)
Charlie Christ (identification of Allan Lane)

This page was last updated on: 01 November 2017