Sweetie - 1929 - LC


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It is love at first sight for Barbara Pell (Nancy Carroll) and Biff Bentley (Stanley Smith), Captain of the Pelham College Football team when he sees Barbara in a Broadway revue. Biff plans to leave the school for "something bigger than this" but hearing the boys sing "Bear Down, Pelham" and the coach wax nostalgic about Pelham's glory years has him thinking twice. Barbara, in her eagerness, drives out to the college to see him - and it is not long before an orchestra is heard and "This is the song he wrote for me" "I've prepared a love song... for My Sweeter Than Sweet". That is before Biff tells her the wedding is off and she tells him "well back to school, recess is over". The big surprise is Barbara Pell is really Barbara Pelham and she has now inherited the boy's school where Biff is enrolled. She plans to install herself as Principal and teach Biff a few lessons!! Next door is Miss Twill's School for Girls, where the most lively girl is Helen Fry (Helen Kane) - she carries a gun and always gets her man. Her man of the moment is "Moose" Stuart Erwin but "He's So Unusual" that "he drives her wild" - he prefers other things rather than petting!!! Helen instantly goes into "The Prep Step" an amazingly catchy song with lots of animated dancing and plenty of boop boop a doops!! At the football dance - Barbara looks wonderfully fetching. Tap Tap (Jack Oakie, one of the best things about the movie) Barbara's Broadway dancing partner, who takes to college like a duck to water, wows everyone with "Alma Mammy" - when all the college girls do the dance, using all the actions it is absolutely super. Next day the worst happens - Barbara organises an English test and all who fail will not play in the big football game. Moose, their star player, thinks a preposition is getting a girl to say yes!! so the boys are in trouble. Biff is determined to keep Moose up all night studying, with the result that he is the one who fails!! - and Barbara's name is now mud!!! Never mind, Helen gets a chance to sing the provocative "I Think You'll Like It", Barbara has a change of heart and offers Biff a re-examination and of course he passes and saves the day but only after a big mistake is cleared up. (Biff thinks Barbara has only let him play so she can sell the school, so he purposely sets out to lose!!!) but everything turns out okay and there is another rendition of "Alma Mammy" - this time sung in black face. The story behind one of the movies most popular songs "Alma Mammy" was that Jack Oakie had been performing a Jolson parody at Hollywood parties and Whiting and Marion wrote the song to give him an opportunity to do a similar number on the screen. The really big hit of the movie was only heard once - "He's So Unusual" was sung by newcomer Helen Kane, moaning about her homosexual boyfriend ("and when we're riding in a taxi, he converses with the chauffeur", "when we're walking in the moonlight, he says "I don't like the moonlight, aw let's not park in the dark"") all sung in a suggestive "boop boop a doop" voice.


  • Nancy Carroll as Barbara Pell
  • Stanley Smith as Biff Bentley


  • The film Sweetie was remade as Charm School in 1936.


See Also

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