- Title: CF97
Pinky Tomlin, Paula Stone, Milburn Stone, Mary Kornman, Bill Elliott, The Gentle Maniacs, The Singing Tramps star in Swing It, Professor (1937)
Shot of Brownell University. College of music. Office of Dean Wiley. Dean in heated conversation with man over ‘fastest trumpet player’. Three men looking like Marx brothers rush into office, start playing a fast song about the university on the piano. Dean and two serious-looking colleagues look disapproving. They finish. Look disappointed that the men didn’t like it. Shot of painting of 18th century woman. Man is singing sweetly to it. He turns to sing to pretty girl sitting on a piano. Sings a song saying he doesn’t like swing but prefers old-fashioned melodies. He’s a music teacher, Artemis Roberts, Arty (Pinky Tomlin).
The professor talks to girl about music. Receptionist comes in and tells him to go see the Dean. Cut to office. The 3 serious men are smoking around the desk. They tell him to start teaching about swing or he has to leave.
Shot of train. Splice, fast pace footage of the professor with suitcase walking, mixed with images of cars, trains, tall buildings, map of America etc. Sharply cut footage of signs “Hot musicians wanted” and shots of swing musicians. Posters of swing bands and swing musicians. He hitches a lift. Sign to Baltimore and train going past. Sign on door “Detroit Hotel, Beds 15”. Walking through the night he overhears the sound of opera. Sees a group of hoboes singing around a fire. Smiles at them as he looks on.
Singing comes to an end and the men clap and cheer loudly. Arty approaches them. He queues up to get food from man serving it out over the fire. Man next to him gestures to everyone to see if they know him, they don’t. They ask if he’s a musician and tell him to prove it. He sings a melody. The men approve that it’s not swing. They all join in. He finishes and they all clap. He faints.
Cuts to the next morning. Arty has become part of their group/colony. He showers in their makeshift shower and talks to another man. The professor is taken out to work. They busk on the side of the road. A policeman watches on and looks stern. He approaches them and they stop playing. Man plays to the policeman and he leaves them alone.
Shot of sign over the door saying “Swing Club”. A woman and two men are walking around inside. They’re trying to get her to run their club. She leaves the club and one of the men leads her into a taxi. He drops his wallet by the taxi and heads into the club. Arty and his friend are still busking and try to get his attention. He tries to return the wallet but is refused into the club.
Three men are standing in the club. The man who lost his wallet tells his associate angrily that he wants to talk to him. They need a straight guy to pretend to be the owner of the club to convince the woman to manage it. Arty, comes in wanting to return the wallet. They convince him to pretend to be the manager. He accepts.
Montage of Arty getting a new suit at the tailors and eating dinner with the woman and two men. He writes a telegram home to the female student, Joan. She jumps in excitement at his news. One of the men from the club is watching the cleaner trying to solve a little trick – attaching two bits of metal - that he can’t. The cleaner manages to solve it and the man chases him round the corner. Shot of the professor and the female manager, Teddy, in the club. He’s playing guitar to her. She interrupts him and says it needs to be swing. She gets the band to play and stands up and tap dances. The cleaner dances in the corner. Arty joins in with the guitar. She stops and he claps.
Joan comes into the club. Arty invited her to sing in the club. He introduces her to the Teddy and Lou, the original club owner. They look unimpressed. She starts to sing. They stop her. Four men looking like gangsters come in. CU of the men from the club and the gangsters looking severely at one another. Teddy tells Arty and Joan that he’s a racketeer. He’s told that the club is owned by Arty, ‘the professor’. He is incredulous and goes to talk to him. At some point Arty tells him he’s from near Chicago. The gangsters react fearfully. One of them runs out. They all leave. Lou, Teddy and their associate all start laughing.
The racketeer, Randall, and another man are in his office, smoking. He asks him why he ran out of the club. They think that Arty, ‘the professor’ is a serious gangster from Chicago. Randall smacks the table with his palm, the other man jumps and Randall laughs. Cuts to a party. The professor and the female manager are on a balcony talking. The professor starts singing. People start dancing on the balcony. He ends and people start clapping.
The female manager goes inside and puts on a faster music. They start swing dancing. The other man is trying to solve the trick with the metal wires. A woman next to him takes it and puts them together behind her back. Cuts to the professor and the female manager dancing. The professor says he’s started to like swing. The man is still trying to solve the trick. He puts it down and another partygoer solves it whilst he’s drinking. He looks annoyed. Teddy is teaching Arty some dance moves. Joan and the club owner Lou are sitting on the balcony. She’s explaining the process of incubation on farms to him. He makes an analogy with racketeering. She says she wants to go out to Randall’s club and other nightclubs. They go inside. Arty and Teddy are still dancing. The music stops and he continues tap dancing oblivious.
Teddy and Lou start dancing, and Joan and Arty are talking. She convinces him to go out to Randall’s club. They write a note for Lou and Teddy and give it to Lou’s associate. As they leave, Arty solves the trick with the metal wires, which winds him up even more. Randall’s office. The nervous associate rushes in and tells him the professor, Arty, is there. He says that he knows and laughs, as the man runs out looking scared. He opens the door and Arty and Joan come in. Lou and Teddy are looking for Joan and Arty. They ask Lou’s associate Toby and he tells them they left. He can’t find the note saying they’re at Randall’s. Arty, Joan and Randall are in his office, drinking. He offers Arty a cigarette but there’s money inside the cigarette holder. He’s trying to y bribe Arty. Arty accepts the money.
Toby is looking through his pockets for the note. He empties his pockets, and takes out money dice, a gun, and a grenade. He finds the note. Joan and Arty come in. They show Lou and Teddy the money they accepted from Randall. Lou, Randall and Toby go off to huddle and talk. Lou and Joan are in a shop looking at eggs incubators for chicken farming. He buys it. When he tells the shopkeeper his name, the man looks shocked. Shot of a call board saying ‘Dress rehearsal – Roberts Ross-Denis- Musicians’. CU of hands playing the piano. Teddy and Arty are singing. Arty sings his old melody but with some swing. Teddy starts tap dancing. Arty sings that he’s started to like swing. Joan and Lou come in, Joan is shocked.
Joan starts singing. Teddy, Arty and Lou all look very pleased. Teddy notices that Joan is wearing a fur coat and has a diamond bracelet. She looks annoyed and looks over at Lou. Joan sings to Lou. Lou starts clapping enthusiastically. Lou is in his office, showing Toby his egg incubator. He’s excited about it. They talk about Joan. Lou is in love with her. They can hear chicks. They open the incubator and it is full of chicks.
Teddy, Arty and Joan are in a restaurant. They ask Joan about her fur coat and jewellery. She explains that they’re from Lou. Teddy looks angry. She storms off. Arty tells Joan that she shouldn’t have accepted the gift as it gets in between Lou and Teddy’s relationship. Lou and Teddy are talking in his office. She’s worried about Joan. She reveals that she knows Lou is the real club owner but she stayed on because of Arty. Joan and Arty are talking. Arty reveals that he’s not the club owner and realises that he has feelings for Teddy. He panics and says that Joan and he have to leave immediately. Teddy and Lou are in his office looking at the chicks. Toby runs in and says that Arty and Joan have left. Lou runs out. He confronts Arty and says that he can’t take away ‘his girl’. Arty is shocked. Lou reveals that Teddy is in love with him. Lou gives Arty the deeds to the club.
Randall is sitting at his desk. Two men come in and Randall shows them a newspaper headline about the Professor. They realise that Arty isn’t the gangster they thought. They go to the night club. Toby sees them and hides. Randall goes to see Teddy in the office. Arty is saying goodbye to Lou and Joan who are leaving for Niagara Falls and are getting married. Toby rushes in looking for Lou but finds Arty instead. He tells Arty that Randall has taken over the nightclub and has Teddy locked in the office. They decide to get a mob to go save Teddy. Arty and Toby run out.
Toby and Arty drive off in a yellow cab they've stolen. They get chased by a mob of yellow cabs, which are all hooting after them. Arty and Toby arrive at the club. Teddy and Randall are sitting in the office. She tries to make a phone call but Randall stops her. (Funny bad acting) Arty rushes in and punches Randall. He points a gun at Arty. Teddy grabs the gun and they manage to overpower him. Toby rushes in with all the yellow cab drivers. Toby tells them that it’s Randall who stole the cab. They take him off to jail. Arty and Teddy smile at each other. Toby solves the trick and leaves the office. Arty jokingly points a gun at Teddy and asks her to marry him. (Funny bad acting) He sings to Teddy and tells her he loves her. He turns to camera and says "I bet y'all figured it would end this way," and they kiss. END
- Keywords:USA, FEATURE FILM, COMEDY, MUSICAL, BAND LEADER, SWING BAND, CAR CHASE. FUNNY BAD ACTING
- Master Title:CF97