Brown of Harvard (1926)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film, Sports Drama  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

While the mid-1920s were deluged with films about college life, and Brown of Harvard is probably the ultimate silent film in this genre, even more significantly it is an early example of the buddy film. Never mind the romance between Harvard undergrad Tom Brown (William Haines) and professor's daughter, Mary Abbott (Mary Brian) -- the real love story, and the one that truly moves the film's plot, is the one between the handsome, athletic Brown and his weakling sidekick Jim Doolittle (Jack Pickford) (in fact, the physical contrast between the two men is echoed in another important buddy film which came out some 40 years later -- Midnight Cowboy). The relationship between the two young men is established right from the beginning, when the brash and cocky Brown easily wins over his dormitory mates but refuses to let them ostracize Doolittle. Doolittle becomes Brown's biggest champion and their mutual loyalty is much more straightforward than Brown's pursuit of Mary, who can't decide whether she hates him, loves him, or prefers his stuffy rival, Bob MacAndrews (Francis X. Bushman, Jr.). Doolittle sticks by his pal when he loses the rowing competition against Yale, and later on risks his life by chasing after Brown in a pouring rainstorm to tell him that he hasn't been scratched from the football team after all.




friendship, classmate, college, rowing, football, freshman, sports, student