Following a series of mistakes the small Texas State University is invited to
play the mighty Yale University football team. This seems like a mismatch
from the get go. Yale has a long history in the sport and the better
financial backing whereas Texas State is small and populated by farmers.
Slug Winters (Jack Haley – The Wizard of Oz, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm), the
new Texas State coach, is put to the test by having to get his team ready to
play Yale. An accident happens and his wife Bessie (Patsy Kelly – Freaky
Friday, Rosemary's Baby) injures the star player. All hope seems to be
lost. Bessie tries to solve the problem by recruiting students Chip (Johnny
Downs – Babes in Toyland) and Laura (Betty Grable – How to Marry a
Millionaire, Pin Up Girl) to help her find a replacement. They come up with
the most unlikely of candidates, the hillbilly Amos (Stuart Erwin – Son of
Flubber, A Pair of Tights), but it is made tricky by the fact that he will
not agree to it without his sister, Sairy (Judy Garland – Judgment at
Nuremberg, A Star is Born – 1954), accompanying him. Amos has perfected his
throwing arm by years of tossing melons on the farm. The team really needs
his melon tossing skills to translate onto the field for them to have any
chance against Yale.
A sports movie which is also a musical, this is an interesting mix by
director David Butler (Calamity Jane, April in Paris). The real attention
grabber of the film is the onscreen debut of the very young Judy Garland.
Her screen presence and singing voice grabbed everyone's attention. Her
three songs are great and she shows her touch as a comedic actress. The film
is light, full of good acting and silly dialogue. While it is not one of the
better musicals of the era it is certainly worth a watch.
-Making the Team: The Talent of Pigskin Parade
-Remembering Judy: Lorna Luft on Judy Garland
-Meet the Coach: Darryl F. Zanuck