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Rose Bowl (Paramount) provided the University of Southern California football squad with a nice stretch of work this summer at standard Hollywood pay for costume extras. Cinemaddicts who are also football fans will recognize Tod Goodwin, famed star of the New York Giants (professional) at end. The burly, dark-haired young man who stops a locker-room tiff between Paddy O'Riley (Tom Brown) and Dutch Schultz (Benny Baker) is Nick Lukats, 1933 Notre Dame halfback, now a Paramount contract player. Director Charles Barton needed this kind of cast. Rose Bowl's games are not composed of matched stock-shots in the accepted current technique, but were played partly on U. S. C.'s fields, partly in the Rose Bowl, partly on a gridiron built on the Paramount tank stage. The resulting action shots are the clearest of the current football picture cycle, a verisimilitude unfortunately not shared by the plot.
O'Riley and Merrill (Larry Crabbe) are rivals for Cheers Reynolds, small town sweet-shop operator (Eleanore Whitney). O'Riley goes to little Green Ridge College where he warms the bench. Merrill becomes a star at big Sierra. Agile ballyhooing of the players' amatory conflicts, complicated by Merrill's infatuation for a cinemactress (Priscilla Lawson), builds Green Ridge into a Rose Bowl attraction. Here Coach Moore (William Frawley) wins the game by putting O'Riley in, disguised in a nose cast, after he has dismissed him from the team for improper behavior. Best part: Larry ("Buster") Crabbe, 1932 Olympic swimmer, more recently famed as Flash Gordon, as a linebucker and smalltown girl jilter.
A Woman Rebels (RKO). Ever since Katharine Hepburn set the cinema industry by the ears with Little Women, her employers have been trying doggedly to discover just what elusive factor, added to the stock formula of Lavender & Old Lace, made that picture so sensationally successful. A Woman Rebels represents an effort to discover if the element was the revolt of a young girl against convention. That the experiment is conducted with painstaking care only makes it the more apparent that the hypothesis is faulty.
Pamela Thistlewaite (Katharine Hepburn) and her sister Flora (Elizabeth Allan) are daughters of a mid-Victorian prig (Donald Crisp) who, to punish them for disobeying their governess, can think of nothing more suitable than to marry them off. Flora soon weds a young officer in the Navy. Pam's young man turns out to be a cad; he leaves her on the verge of becoming a husbandless mother. When an accident kills off Flora's ensign, Flora, also pregnant, dies of the shock. Painful but convenient, the circumstances of her death in Italy where both sisters are holidaying make things much easier for Pam. She comes back to London with her baby, explains that it is Flora's.