March 15, 2009

3. Brown of Harvard (1926)

Finally a film with a good deal of Jack Pickford in it !
This was the story of a guy - Tom Brown (played by William Haines, who was 26), who goes to Harvard, tries to make it to the football team and to get the girl he wants. He's got this friend too, Jim Doolittle, who was portrayed by Jack, 31.

And as you might have guesses, I was more into this Doolittle character.
So I picked out all the scenes that he appears in.
This is sort of like "Doolittle of Harvard" :

In the beginning of the film Tom is about to leave his well to do parents' house.

On the subway we get to see the little misfit, Jim Doolittle, who introduces himself to Tom, who pokes fun at him but not in an overly rude way.

Jim is settling down in his room, unpacking his case.

He hears something from the corridor and goes to take a look

Some students are jamming.
Doolittle takes out his accordion and is about to join them.

A few of the guys are talking about Jim.
They ignore him and slam the door into his face.

He returns to his room alone.

Meanwhile Tom has found a place in a room with a religious guy.
They don't get along too well, Brown treats the other cat with little respect.
He takes over his room mate's bed, which causes the other guy to get mad.

A curious bunch of guys gather up to find out what the noise is all about.
The timid Doolittle kid trails along.
Brown comes out of the room and says to no one in particular :

Doolittle, out of spontaneity perhaps, offers to help.

Brown is OK with the idea.

Doolittle is eager to be helpful and carries all of his new room mate's belongings into their room.

The guys horse around a bit and talk about the school.

Brown cracks some jokes and seems to impress the smaller guy, who says :

Next up the guys are having a frat party :
Brown plays a ukulele and sings, while Doolittle watches on.

After the party is over, one of the guys turns to look at Brown.

Brown catches their drift...

..and takes a look at his little sidekick.

He looks sad but ready to accept his fate. He's not welcome.

However Brown says :
The guys are all "whatever" and walk outside to wait for them.

Doolittle walks over to his friend.

Brown feels awkward about all that praise and gives Doo a little push.
After that the guys start dressing up for the night on the town.

Doolittle watches his friend get dressed up and asks about his "sheiks" belt.
They talk a bit about this and that.

Brown checks his friend out and pays attention to his extra clothes :

(I think Jack looks adorable in this scene. Bad posture and all. Aww)

Keep this in mind for future reference.
It's to do with the stuff that happens near the end of the film.

School has started, but already Brown is feeling bored,
he wants to skip class and suggests it to his friend.
But Doolittle is a good kid. He says :

Brown thinks it over and replies :

Doolittle is impressed with his pal's good morale and delivers some praise :

However, as soon as Doolittle walks away, Brown sees the girl he fancies, Mary.
He walks up to the girl and chats her up, walks her home, asks her to come to the dance.
But it turns out she's going with the guy Brown can't get along with.

Yet at the party Brown takes the girl into the garden and tries to make her do things she doesn't want to.
She has to fight him off and finally her date rushes over and dares Brown to enter a duel with him.

"Now I'm going to teach you to respect women .... and psalm singers."

And so he does. He gives Brown a sucker punch...

..causing Doolittle to loose his cool.
He's about to intervene but some older guys stop him.

In the end the guys have to break up their fight because some policemen arrive to the scene.
The opponents go their own ways, each with their supporters.

Yet Brown is feeling a bit down.
He feels bad about grabbing the pretty girl, Mary.
Doo tries to cheer him up and nonchalantly takes a hold of his arm while they walk back to the dorm.

Some days pass.

Doolittle is on his way out one evening,
when he sees something unpleasant

Brown, as drunk as heck is back from an evening of hell raising.
He staggers into their room, clutching a huge container full of jellybeans.
He sings drunken songs and rouses the suspicion of the school personnel who pay the boys a visit.
Luckily Doolittle manages to stash his pal away into the bedroom and blame the noise on the guys who live upstairs.

When Brown comes back out and acts like a jerk,
Doolittle gathers up his courage and knocks the guy out.
He looks superb doing it.

Doolittle looks terrified, fearing he might have caused some actual damage

alas! his worry was in vain.
Brown starts singing again and his friend lets out a sigh of relief

The following day Brown takes part in the boat race but he's hungover from the night before and causes the team to lose.
Doolittle watches him from the audience, disheartened.
Then it's time for a holiday.
Brown has a serious talk with his father and decides to pursue his dreams despite the setbacks.

Next semester, the pals meet at their dorm again.
They fool around a bit.

Doolittle gives Brown a kick in the rear. Whoa.

Then it's life as usual, football games and all that.

But then Doolittle falls ill...

a drumroll, please !
It's time for the best scene in the film :


...after rubbing some anointment on his buddy's chest,
Brown takes off

but a moment later the coach calls,
tells Doo that Brown is urgently needed at the practice

he throws on some clothes and rushes outside, into the rainstorm

he misses Brown's tram by a second but manages to hold onto it

he shouts and hits the door with his last strength

the tram slows down while Doo can't hold on any longer

the conductor comes out to help the fallen kid

Doo faints into his hero's arms

I still don't understand why Mary comes to see Doo.
But sure enough, he awakes and tells her something

after Doolittle utters this, we get to see Tom Brown's big game.
There's no pictures of that, sorry... I'm into mr Pickford.

Right after the game Brown rushes to Doolittle's bedside..

and so on.


Directed by Jack Conway

1 comment:

  1. Lois LaRaine18/7/12

    I really enjoyed this! I haven't had a chance to see this film, but one of my favorite movies is Exit Smiling with Jack and Beatrice Lillie from 1926. It's one of my favorie silent comedies! I'm currently writing a book about Jack Pickford and Olive Thomas, since I can tell your a devoted fan of Jack's, I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about him for a section of my book! I'm interviewing all fans and some relatives of Olive and Jack. Let me know if your interested!


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