Father was a Fullback

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Father was a Fullback
Father was a Fullback - 1950 Poster.png
1950 Theatrical Poster
Directed by John M. Stahl
Produced by Fred Kohlmar
Written by Aleen Leslie
Casey Robinson
Mary Loos
Richard Sale
Starring Fred MacMurray
Rudy Vallee
Maureen O'Hara
Natalie Wood
Betty Lynn
Thelma Ritter
Edited by J. Watson Webb Jr.
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
Release dates
  • 1949 (1949)
Running time
84 min
Country United States
Language English

Father was a Fullback is a 1949 black-and-white Twentieth Century Fox film based on a comedy by Clifford Goldsmith. The film is about a college American football coach and his woes. The film stars Fred MacMurray, Maureen O'Hara, Natalie Wood, and Betty Lynn.

Plot summary[edit]

State College football coach George Cooper (Fred MacMurray) has more than enough problems on the job without his teenage daughter Connie (Betty Lynn) complicating his life at home. She is convinced she's unattractive to the opposite sex and wallows in self-pity. Resigning herself to a loveless existence, she decides to make literature her life. When a fictional article she pens about a teenage bubble dancer appears in a confessions magazine, the boys come calling. The young author dates a high school football star from across town who chooses to attend State College (rather than Notre Dame) to be near his newfound sweetheart. George's gridiron and domestic problems are solved.



Fred MacMurray and Maureen O'Hara in a scene from the film.
  • Fred MacMurray as George "Coop" Cooper, a college football coach
  • Maureen O'Hara as Elizabeth Cooper, his wife
  • Betty Lynn as Constance "Connie" Cooper, his oldest daughter
  • Natalie Wood as Ellen Cooper, his youngest daughter
  • Thelma Ritter as Geraldine, his housekeeper
  • Jim Backus as Professor "Sully" Sullivan, his neighbor (performing under the name, James G. Backus)
  • Rudy Vallee as Mr. Roger "Jess" Jessup, a football supporter

Supporting players[edit]

  • Robert Adler as Grandstand Bit Part (uncredited)
  • Don Barclay as Grandstand "Coach" (uncredited)
  • Gilbert Barnett as Stinky Parker (uncredited)
  • Rodney Bell as Grandstand "Coach" (uncredited)
  • Tom Bernard as Delivery Boy (uncredited)
  • Harry Carter as Grandstand Bit Part (uncredited)
  • Ruth Clifford as Neighbor (uncredited)
  • Heinie Conklin as Ed (uncredited)
  • Fred Dale as Cheerleader (uncredited)
  • Gwenn Fields as Daphne Sullivan (uncredited)
  • Bess Flowers as Football Fan (uncredited)
  • Charles Flynn as Policeman (uncredited)
  • Tom Hanlon as Radio Announcer (uncredited)
  • Sam Harris as Alumnus at Dinner (uncredited)
  • Joe Haworth as Skip, Reporter in Locker Room (uncredited)
  • Don Hicks as Bill (uncredited)
  • Pat Kane as Bellhop (uncredited)
  • Kenner G. Kemp as Alumnus at Dinner (uncredited)
  • Louise Lorimer as Mrs. Jones (uncredited)
  • Lee MacGregor as Cheerleader (uncredited)
  • Mike Mahoney as Pete, the Sailor (uncredited)
  • Buddy Martin as Cheerleader (uncredited)
  • Mickey McCardle as Jones (uncredited)
  • John McKee as Cy (uncredited)
  • Frank Mills as Assistant Football Coach (uncredited)
  • Forbes Murray as Mr. Higgins, College President (uncredited)
  • Robert Patten as Manager (uncredited)
  • Bill Radovich as Football Player (uncredited)
  • William Self as Willie Davis (uncredited)
  • Richard Tyler as Hercules Smith a.k.a. Joe Birch (uncredited)
  • Wilson Wood as Grandstand "Coach" (uncredited)

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • Actress Betty Lynn would achieve immortality almost ten years after making Father was a Fullback as Thelma Lou, Barney Fife's girlfriend in The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968). Lynn made 26 appearances on the series.

External links[edit]