“Sweetheart of Sigma Chi”

June 6, 2008

1933 film seems to be based on a popular song of the same title (see sheet music above). It’s a college romp with very low stakes. Lots of scenes of guys in ties standing around pianos singing.

Charley plays Morley, who we first meet wearing a white sweater and riding on the running board of the Sweetie’s car. He says stuff like “Hows about getting an earful of that new tune?” and “Can you imagine fooling around at the boathouse when you could be…fooling around?”

He’s the second male lead. Buster Crabbe (the future Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers) plays Bob North. Mary Carlisle is Vivian, the popular gal who takes a bet to get Bob’s pin before the big race. Bob’s smitten and his crewing suffers.

Charley is the on-again off-again boyfriend of Vivian. He’s affable, a good sport, and takes things as they come. He even asks out the gal who delivers the kiss-off letter from Vivian.

Unless Charley’s stage persona was RADICALLY different than the real guy (and I really can’t imagine he was that good an actor), I’d bet that Charley was a lot like this character. Fun to be around, but not life of the party. A favorite of all the girls, but not breaking any hearts. A real nice guy. A real sweetheart.

Film culminates in the big rowing race, which looks like footage of a real college event. Rowing as a spectator sport is (like this film) pretty boring.

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