It is very likely that the movie Freshman Love from 1936 has passed you by without you never ever noticing it. The movie was not on my radar screen – despite that the World of Rabbit has it on its list of rowing film – till I stumbled over it the other day.
MRQE.com (the Movie Review Query Engine) writes in its review of the film:
In this lively campus comedy, a stern rowing coach sets up a rigorous practice schedule for his team and insists they lead strictly disciplined lives (meaning no girls and no fun) so that they will become winners and thereby save his endangered job. Unfortunately, a seductive coed keeps leading his lambs astray. Things look bleak until the coach devises an ingenious method to recruit new oarsmen. Things really get in synch when jazz bandleader George E. Stone becomes the swingin’ new coxswain.
About the ‘rowing location’, the ‘Rabbit’ writes,
‘The movie was filmed in Long Beach after the first LA Olympics. The race footage shows the Long Beach Marine Stadium in the background (look out for the oil derricks). In one part, two coeds are sitting in the crowd fawn over rowers as being the most attractive of any athletes… And the cox gets the ladies as the credits roll.’
On 25 January 1936, The New York Times film critic wrote, that ‘Freshman Love may be recommended, with some reservations, as a minor but mirthful excursion into the realm of undergraduate romantic and athletic activities.’
The film trailer promised ‘The most exciting crew races you’re ever seen’ performed by ‘America’s greatest rowing stars’.
Take a look at the trailer here.