Brother Rat

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Brother Rat
Brother Rat 1938.jpg
Directed by William Keighley
Produced by Robert Lord
Hal B. Wallis
Written by Richard Macaulay
Jerry Wald
John Monks, Jr.
Fred Finklehoffe
Starring Ronald Reagan
Jane Wyman
Priscilla Lane
Wayne Morris
Johnnie Davis
Jane Bryan
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography Ernest Haller
Edited by William Holmes
Release date
  • October 29, 1938 (1938-10-29)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Brother Rat is a 1938 film about cadets at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, directed by William Keighley and starring Ronald Reagan, Priscilla Lane, Eddie Albert, Jane Wyman and Wayne Morris.

The film was an adaptation of the successful Broadway play of the same name written by two former VMI cadets, John Monks, Jr. and Fred Finklehoffe, which ran for 577 performances between December 1936 and April 1938. Albert and supporting actor William Tracy reprised their roles in the stage productions.[1]

Brother Rat was Albert's film debut, and during filming Reagan met Wyman, whom he later married.[2]

The title refers to the term used for cadets in their first year at the Institute. Scenes of the film were shot on site in Lexington on the Institute's historic Parade Ground, and the baseball game scene was filmed at Alumni Memorial Field.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times called the film "an excellent transcription of the play, loyal to all its screenable material and matching the playwrights' lively humors in the added scenes."[3] "None of the factors that made the play a success has been lost ... Albert gives a splendid performance," reported Variety.[4] Film Daily wrote that Keighley gave the film "warm, sympathetic direction and has injected many human touches," and called Eddie Albert "a definite screen 'find'".[5] Harrison's Reports declared it "A delightful comedy" with "excellent" performances.[6] John Mosher of The New Yorker called it "a serviceable time-filler."[7]

Sequel[edit]

This film was followed by a sequel in 1940, Brother Rat and a Baby, which also featured Priscilla Lane, Wayne Morris, Ronald Reagan, Eddie Albert, and Jane Wyman.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brother Rat, Playbill Vault, retrieved 9 January 2015.
  2. ^ Helfer, Andrew (author), Steve Buccatello (artist), and Joe Station (artist). Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography. Hill and Wang. 23.
  3. ^ The New York Times Film Reviews, Volume 2: 1932-1938. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press. 1970. p. 1544. 
  4. ^ "Film Reviews". Variety. New York: Variety, Inc. October 19, 1938. p. 12. 
  5. ^ "Reviews of the New Films". Film Daily. New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc.: 7 October 17, 1938. 
  6. ^ "Brother Rat". Harrison's Reports. New York: Harrison's Reports, Inc.: 70 October 22, 1938. 
  7. ^ Mosher, John (November 5, 1938). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker. New York: F-R Publishing Corp. p. 74. 

External links[edit]