In the film Keaton plays Ronald a bookish mama's boy from a modest back ground who thanks to hard work and study graduates Valedictorian of his High School class. The film opens with Ronald walking to his graduation during a violent rainstorm with his mother and his girl friend, Mary, in tow.
At his graduation he delivers a speech on the "curse of the athlete"
that does nothing to endear him to his peers. Worst of all his priggish devotion to books and rejection of sports is the last straw for Mary who breaks up with him. Ronald leaves the ceremony heart broken
but determined to win Mary back.
He decides to follow her to Clayton a college that prides itself on athletics. Once there he undergoes a campaign to prove his love by transforming himself into one of the muscle bound athletes he hates.
He tries baseball
and track and field
with predictably disastrous results.
Making the situation worse is the fact that Ronald doesn't have enough money to pay Clayton's tuition so he gets a series of part time jobs to pay the bills.
I can't get over the adorable striped tie, hat and argyle sweater combo worn in this photo.
|I love Mary's beret and tie neck blouse here and the little pin anchoring it.|
is being romanced by a manly and muscular athlete who embodies everything Ronald is not.
College boasts absolutely adorable 1920s co-ed fashions. As I mentioned in an earlier post the twenties where a great time for college fashion, and as Buster struggles to impress Mary and Mary waivers between suitors, they and there peers, wear some of the cutest fashions ever captured on film.
Argyle sweaters are big for the boys at Clatyon
|A fur coat big enough for two|
Another shot of Mary's color blocked dress with the wide collar. This is one of my favorite dresses on film and one I hope to have copied some day.
The distressed team and coach try to get Ronald off the team by drugging him but the wrong player gets doped.
Despite Ronald crashing the boat and causing general mayhem the team manages to win.
Meanwhile Mary has finally softened to Ronald and is touched by his attempts to impress her. More over she has tired of her brutish athlete boy friend who has been expelled from school due to his poor grades. The boyfriend wont take no for an answer and he locks Mary in his dorm room so that she will be discovered there and expelled along with him. Mary phones Ronald and in one of cinema's great comic romantic scenes he rescues her by performing a series of athletics, including pole-vaulting into the dorm room, beating up his rival, and throwing a javelin, that he was never able to do before.
Ronald and Mary get caught embracing and unchaperoned in the dorm room and are both promptly expelled from Clayton.
Unperturbed by the end of their academic careers they go off to marry.
The last scenes are some of the sweetest and most romantic in the history of cinema. Ronald and Mary are shown sitting side by side as they gradually grow older until you see this: