Saturday, January 18, 2014
Huddle, starring Ramon Novarro as an Italian immigrant who somehow gets a paid entrance to Yale, is dreadful. Novarro didn't want to play the role, for good reasons.
33 at the time, Novarro was too old for the role. The movie is too long. The collegiate singing is annoying and frequent. We're to believe Novarro becomes a football star (he had to learn how to play football for the role); the ending, wherein he wins the game during a bout of appendicitis, is ludicrous.
Ralph Graves plays a reverent and clean and thus wholly unbelievable football coach. Una Merkel plays a colleague's girlfriend, but her talents are wasted; I don't think she has more than five lines in the film. Madge Evans does plays a good love interest.
Audiences of the time didn't think much of the film, either. It lost $28,000 and was one of several miscalculations on MGM's part during this time period that devalued Novarro's box office worth.
Huddle has been released on Warner Bros. Archive DVD-R.