Start Cheering


Start Cheering is mostly a vaudeville revue.  Jimmy Durante is the main comic, with the Three Stooges and some other acts popping in and out periodically.  They devote substantial time to a guy who humorously eats cigarettes and paper packaging.

Here's the plot:  Ted Crosley is a movie star who has had great success playing college football heroes.  At the peak of his career, he decides to chuck it all and actually attend college.  Crosley's manager (Walter Connolly) along with his bumbling assistant (Jimmy Durante) plot to sabotage Crosley's college career so that he will return to the movies.  The sabotage attempt is doomed, however, because the Dean of the college has misspent funds on a football stadium and has only barely convinced the board of directors not to fire him, hanging his entire career on "football star" Crosley coming to school.  So despite numerous frame-ups and circumstantial evidence of wrong-doing on Crosley's part, the Dean always laughs and looks the other way.

Interesting note: Charles Starrett, who plays Ted Crosley, was on the Dartmouth football team and it was this that got him his first acting job playing an extra in The Quarterback (1926).

Familiar face: Broderick Crawford as the BMOC.

Jimmy Durante and Walter Connolly
The Three Stooges
Dancing the Susie Q as part of the Big Apple

Valley of the Giants


Hey, this one is in color!

This is the third movie named Valley of the Giants based on the 1918 novel Valley of the Giants by Peter B. Kyne. In it, a California sequoia lumberman must defend his land and trees from unscrupulous lumber speculators.  The good guy is played by Wayne Morris, the bad guy is played by Charles Bickford.  There is a runaway caboose and a dam that must be dynamited.

Here's an interesting thing: There is a 1952 movie starring Kirk Douglas named The Big Trees that is based on this movie (not on the Kyne novel).  In my 1938 movie, Alan Hale plays a rough and tumble lumberjack; in the 1952 movie, Alan Hale Jr. plays a similar character.

Familiar faces: Jerry Colonna performs in the gambling house; Frank McHugh as a gambler; Donald Crisp as a generous banker.

Jerry Colonna
Alan Hale stares down Frank McHugh

Valley of the Giants trailer on TCM

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