So This is College (1929) is fun collegiate romp and comes to us from the early talkie era. Eddie (Elliott Nugent) and Biff (Robert Montgomery) are college roommates at a USC fraternity and best buddies.
Their bromance has carried them through until their senior year. They compete and razz each other all the time but still have a special bond and are a fiercely loyal pair. However, their friendship is tested when they both fall head-over-heels for the new girl on campus Babs (Sally Starr). They've fought over girls in the past but it has never gone this far. Babs relishes the attention both Eddie and Biff smother her with. But she is reluctant to commit to Biff who is the first of the two whom she shows interest in. She likes the control she has over both of them so when Eddie lays off her for Biff's sake, this drives Babs crazy and she starts to turn her affections to him.
It's not very often when you encounter a story that has your rooting for the bromance and against the traditional male-female romance. It was quite refreshing! I enjoyed the performances by Montgomery and Nugent and there were some scenes that bordered on the homoerotic and made me want to see them end up as a couple at the end. If anything, they have a beautiful friendship that really shines through in the story even when they are going through a rather difficult time.
Other notable cast members include Cliff Edwards (aka Ukulele Ike) who has a supporting role as Windy, a ukulele playing fraternity brother with a penchant for jokes and an ear for music. Ann Dvorak and Joel McCrea also have bit parts .
There are not that many full talkies from the 1920s, so each one of them is a gem in my opinion. So This is College sets out to entertain. It's not an All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing! picture but it is a full talkie with all three elements involved. Plus there is the collegiate setting (with lots of freshman hazing), football and a serious love triangle. College football is a big part of the story. Biff and Eddie are the top USC football stars and their friendship is key how well the team performs. Both the friendship and the team are put into jeopardy because of Babs. I wanted to sock Babs in the face (and run off with her cloche hat) in pretty much every scene she was in.
The story reminds me of Good News (1947) especially with the new girl who doesn't care who she falls for because she just likes the attention. In fact, I'd say that Good News (1947) is like an amalgamation of Good News (1930) and So This is College (1929). I'd say Pat McLellan (Patricia Marshall) from Good News (1947) is another Babs from So This is College!
IMDB notes that real football footage from a USC vs. Stanford game was used in the movie and that Sally Starr was considered to be a vest pocket sized Clara Bow. And even though this isn't Good News (1947), it's interesting to note that Patricia Marshall may be the last surviving cast member from that movie.
So This Is College (1929) is available as a DVD MOD from Warner Archive.