Varsity (1928)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 67 min.  |   Countries - United States  |  
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Charles Rogers and Mary Brian, Paramount Pictures' cutest couple, are starred in the collegiate drama Varsity. Amazingly, the film does not include a football game, or even a football team. The story concerns the romance between college boy Jimmy Duffy (Arlen) and carnival girl Fay (Mary Brian). Looking askance at this union is dormitory janitor Pop Conlin (Chester Conklin), who, unbeknownst to everyone but himself, is Jimmy's long-lost father. A chronic alcoholic, Pop worries that Jimmy has inherited the family "curse," and that the boy will pass it along to his own children. The tension mounts when a couple of crooks conspire to get Jimmy liquored up so that they can steal a cache of cash intended to finance a campus temperance organization. Originally set at Yale University, the alma mater of screenwriter Wells Root, Varsity ended up taking place in Princeton when the Yale-ees protested. Essentially a silent picture, Varsity includes a reel and a quarter of dialogue near the end of the film.



alcoholism, family, family-member, father, janitor, orphan, romance, student