College Coach

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College Coach
Lobby card
Directed by William A. Wellman
Written by Niven Busch
& Manuel Seff
(story & screen play)
Starring Dick Powell
Ann Dvorak
Pat O'Brien
Music by uncredited (Vitaphone orchestra conducted by
Leo F. Forbstein)
Cinematography Arthur L. Todd
Edited by Thomas Pratt
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
& The Vitaphone Corp.
Release dates
  • November 4, 1933 (1933-11-04)
Running time
76 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $245,000 (estimated)

College Coach (UK title Football Coach) is a 1933 American Pre-Code drama film starring Dick Powell and Ann Dvorak.[1] The film features John Wayne in his last bit-part role.[2][3][4]


Calvert College begins taking football more seriously, over the objections of Dr. Sargeant, the president of the school. Coach Gore is brought in and given a free rein, which he uses to pay money to standout players. He is so obsessed with winning that he ignores his wife, Claire.

The president's son, Phil Sargeant, is also an outstanding athlete, but is far more interested in studying chemistry. He is persuaded to join the team, however, and becomes the fourth of the "Four Aces" who begin leading Calvert to victories.

Football stars begin feeling entitled to things, including favoritism in the classroom. One of them, Weaver, even makes a pass at the coach's wife. Phil Sargeant is offended when given a passing grade for a chemistry test he didn't even complete. He quarrels with the coach and quits the team.

Gore catches his wife having dinner with a player and kicks Weaver off the squad. Soon the team is losing games and funds, which even threatens the future of the science department. Phil decides to play again for that reason, and Claire explains to her husband that the dinner was innocent. Weaver is reinstated as well, Calvert wins the big game and the coach offers to quit, but is given a second chance by his wife and the college.[5]


John Wayne's unbilled cameo role[edit]

At Dick Powell's initial appearance (11:40 into the film), he is standing in line at the college bursar's office, when a fellow student (seen only from the back) approaches and greets him, "Hello, Phil, how does it feel to be back?" "Great, great", replies Powell, "have a good vacation?" "Yes, s'long", answers the student and quickly walks forward, joining other students. A voice is heard, "Hi, boy". "Hi, Kim", replies Powell to an unseen student and, immediately spotting someone else, extends both arms and says enthusiastically, "Well, if it isn't the old boy, himself!". The camera moves to the left, as John Wayne comes into view, extending his hand to shake Powell's and saying, "Hear you broke the rules, Phil — studied during vacation." "Huh-huh", answers Powell, "don't give me away. See you later, huh?" "You bet", says Wayne, turning left and out of camera frame. Later (15:10 into the film, followed by other scenes), in the brief role of assistant coach to Pat O'Brien's title character, is another unbilled player — Ward Bond — who, between 1929 and 1959, appeared with Wayne in 24 films.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]