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She's Working Her Way Through College (9-Jul-1952)

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone

Writer: Peter Milne

From a play: The Male Animal by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent

Musical Direction: Ray Heindorf

Producer: William Jacobs

Keywords: Musical Comedy

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Don DeFore
25-Aug-1913 22-Dec-1993 Mr. B. on Hazel
Virginia Mayo
30-Nov-1920 17-Jan-2005 South Sea Woman
Gene Nelson
24-Mar-1920 16-Sep-1996 Oklahoma!
Ronald Reagan
Head of State
6-Feb-1911 5-Jun-2004 40th US President, 1981-89
Phyllis Thaxter
20-Nov-1921 14-Aug-2012 The World of Henry Orient
Roland Winters
22-Nov-1904 22-Oct-1989 Charlie Chan
Patrice Wymore
17-Dec-1926 22-Mar-2014 Ocean's Eleven


Virginia Mayo   ...   Angela Gardner
Ronald Reagan   ...   John Palmer
Gene Nelson   ...   Don Weston
Don DeFore   ...   Shep Slade
Phyllis Thaxter   ...   Helen Palmer
Patrice Wymore   ...   Ivy Williams
Roland Winters   ...   Fred Copeland
Raymond Greenleaf   ...   Dean Rogers
Ginger Crowley   ...   Student
Norman Bartold   ...   Tiny Gordon
The Blackburn Twins   ...   Themselves


Review by anonymous (posted on 12-Apr-2006)

A musical remake of THE MALE ANIMAL, a 1940's comedy that starred Olivia DeHavilland and Henry Fonda. The plot stays more or less intact, except for the introduction of Virginia Mayo as the burlesque-queen-turned-college-coed Angela, AKA "Hot Garters Gertie", a former student of Reagan's character, Professor Palmer. In addition to her more obvious talents, it seems Angela is an aspiring playwright. In a series of unlikely coincidences, Ronnie and his student reunite and conspire to enroll Angela at the Ivy-covered college where Ronnie is a professor of theatre arts. This being the early '50's, Angela's shady past is concealed from one and all until she is ultimately unmasked by a jealous rival in the college musical show and threatened with expulsion. Yes, this gets pretty Byzantine. Angela's love interest is supplied by affable Gene Nelson, a dancer later turned choreographer and director. His style is athletic, a la Gene Kelly, and he has a pleasant singing voice. A routine in the gym on various pieces of gymnastic equipment is a standout. All this is fairly routine B-musical fare, and the college mores of the time are quaintly prim and proper, but there's a kind of innocent sexiness about it, nevertheless. The future president's best scene is one in which he has an argument with his wife(Phyllis Thaxter)and gets rip-roaringly drunk. Where was that clip during the Reagan Years? Jon Stewart would have been on it in a Comedy Central second. All in all, SHE'S WORKING HER WAY THROUGH COLLEGE is a charming and nostalgic piece of musical fluff, with some better-than-good performances scattered throughout.

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