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Old Man Rhythm (1935)

A businessman enrolls as a college freshman in order to break up his son's relationship with a gold-digger.


Edward Ludwig


Lewis E. Gensler (story) (as Lewis Gensler), Sig Herzig (story) | 4 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ... Johnny Roberts
George Barbier ... John Roberts Sr
Barbara Kent ... Edith Warren
Grace Bradley ... Marion Beecher
Betty Grable ... Sylvia
Eric Blore ... 'Phil' Phillips
Erik Rhodes ... Frank Rochet
John Arledge ... Pinky Parker
Johnny Mercer ... Colonel
Donald Meek ... Paul Parker
Evelyn Poe Evelyn Poe ... Honey


Rich John Roberts, Jr. gets reports that his son, Johnny, is falling for a gold digging blonde at college. So he enrolls as a freshman to try to steer Johnny towards the girl he'd like him to marry. He hits upon the idea to have the blonde believe he lost his business, by writing a letter instructing his partner to wire him that his business went broke. But he gives the letter to a school official who forgets to mail it. Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

b movie | song | singer | slang | deception | See All (42) »


Comedy | Music


See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 August 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Collège rythme See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Several of the collegiates are played by the scions of silent stars including Erich von Sttroheim, Jr., Carlyle Blackwell, Jr., Bryant Washburn, Jr., and Claude Gillingwater, Jr. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening title leaps up from the orchestra music. See more »


Featured in Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (1997) See more »


Old Man Rhythm
Music by Lewis E. Gensler
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Grace Bradley, Betty Grable, others
Danced by Betty Grable tap-waltzing with a partner, Sonny Lamont tapping, Russian squats, somersaults and other handsprings
Reprised in final moments with large ensemble social dancing
See more »

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User Reviews

Delightful Nonsense
11 November 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Old Man Rhythm is one of those silly college musicals that were so popular during the Thirties. The plots are almost the same in every one of them, but they were diverting. One of the main differences in this one was that it had no football game or hero in it. But like all the others it had very little learning as well. In fact I can't recall a scene with a classroom.

The leads in Old Man Rhythm are an over the hill Buddy Rogers who was going on the downside of his film career. He's the son of wealthy toy manufacturer George Barbier and he's living it up real high on the hog in college. He's got two girl friends, good girl Barbara Kent and bad girl Grace Bradley. Grace is one of those who makes no bones about going to college to find a rich husband and she's got a prime prospect in Rogers.

All this is real unsettling to Barbier who decides to abandon his business even though he's in a battle with a hostile takeover by Erik Rhodes. But he's going to go back to school in any event.

The plot barely gets in the way of a whole lot of musical numbers which are serviceable for the plot, but nothing truly memorable comes from the score. The music is by Lewis Gensler and the lyrics are supplied by the great Johnny Mercer. This was one of the earliest film scores that Mercer did in his career and we do get the added treat of seeing him as a performer as well. Though he wrote some of the greatest songs of the last century, Mercer was a fine performer who for some reason rarely appeared on the big screen.

Old Man Rhythm also has some of the best character actors from the studio era in the cast. Besides those I already mentioned you can also enjoy Donald Meek and Eric Blore. Betty Grable has a featured role in this film as well as one of the shapely coeds and in a bit part you can spot Lucille Ball if you scan carefully.

Of course the film is utter nonsense, but it's delightful nonsense and easy to take.

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