The Human Fish (1932)

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When the great comedy writer/director Clyde Bruckman signed to make films for veteran producer Mack Sennett, his first job was this 1932 two-reeler starring the 19-year-old swimmer Helene Madison. Just a few months earlier, she became famous at the Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, winning gold medals in the relay and the 100- and 400-meter freestyle competitions. Bruckman was also the uncredited scriptwriter of this collegiate farce, which incorporates newsreel footage of one of Madison's Olympic victories. She plays herself, a champion athlete who enrolls at Coldwater College as "Gladys Smith" to dodge attention, but who ultimately leads their swim team to victory after winning the heart of John Clark (Frank Eastman) and eluding the attentions of Albert Hill (Franklin Pangborn). The uncredited assistant director of The Human Fish was Jean Yarbrough, who later became a director and hired Bruckman to write for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello on their 1944 film In Society and their 1953-1954 television series.