Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Yank at Eton(1942).

A Yank at Eton (1942). Comedy/drama. It was the 1942 sequel to the 1938 A Yank at Oxford. A propaganda film to show that Americans and Britons could set aside their differences and come together in the common cause of the war effort.

The film also has the Eton boating song as its theme song, even though no boating is shown in the film. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Edmund Gwenn, Ian Hunter, Freddie Bartholomew, Marta Linden, Carlton Juanita Quigley, Dennis Alan Mowbray and Peter Lawford.

The story begins with Tim, a high school football player, who has big dreams of following in his late father's footsteps by playing football at Notre Dame. Tim's life is turned upside down, when his sister Jane tells him that their mother has married Englishman, Roger Carlton and wants them to come live with her in England.

Tim and his sister set sail for London and before long he meets a young girl for a shipboard romance. After arriving in England, Tim learns that his mother wants him to attended boarding school at Eton, but.. promises him that once he completes prep school, he can go to Notre Dame.

Jane, is settling in nicely and has fallen in love with all the dogs and horses on the estate. At Eton, Tim hates the traditional uniform of top hat and tails, but.. quickly becomes friends with a small boy with the title, Earl of Weeld, who Tim nicknames "Inky," because of the ink he spilled on his collar

When upperclassman Ronnie Kenvil, bullies Inky, Tim steps in and a fight breaks out. Breaking up the fight is, Peter Carlton, Roger's son. Being an American and not understanding the English traditions Tim, objects to the hierarchy governing the upper and lower boys. So Tim, decides to put together a committee of lower boys to buy at discount the items required by the upper boys and the then turn around and sell them to the upper boys making a profit. When Justin, the headmaster, discovers the plan, he decides to pit the lower boys against Tim.

When, Tim goes home for the holidays he invites the girl he met on the ship to a big party at the Carlton house. She flirts with Peter and Tim becomes jealous. After Peter tells the girl that she can not ride Bonnie Warrior, the Carltons' prize horse, she tricks Tim into taking her to see the horse. Spooked, by the girl's white dress, Bonnie Warrior gallops into a wall, forcing Roger to shoot the fatally injured horse.

Heartbroken, over the death of the prized horse, Tim decides to travel back to America, but.. is stopped by Roger, who walks with him to the family chapel and shows him the grave of his young son, Bobby. Roger, then forgives Tim and reassures him that he is not trying to replace his father. Tim, has a change of heart and does well in his studies and begins participate in school sports, even winning a Rugby match for the team.

On the night before the big race, Kenvil steals Justin's car to keep a date. Seeing someone breaking into the car, Peter hurries outside and watches as the car speeds away. After Peter returns inside, Tim spots the handkerchief that he dropped lying on the ground. Believing that it was Peter, who stole the car, he hides the evidence. When Justin finds Tim wandering the grounds, he thinks that he stole the car and when Tim refuses to defend himself, confines him to his room.

After, a night of drinking at the Willow Club, Kenvil drives off the road into a ditch. Later, when his sister Jane, sees the overturned car, she goes looking for her brother and tries to talk Tim to telling the truth. Peter, soon learns that it was not Peter who stole the car. Determined, to find the thief, together the boys go back to the Willow Club, to question the bartender. Will the barkeep identify the real thief and and prove Tim's innocent?

This is a very entertaining film and Mickey is given excellent support from a wonderful cast of costars. Edmund Gwenn, Ian Hunter, Freddie Bartholomew, Marta Linden, Carlton Juanita Quigley, Dennis Alan Mowbray and Peter Lawford.


Frederick Bartholomew (March 28, 1924 – January 23, 1992), was born in Harlesden in the borough of Willesden, Middlesex, London.

By the age of three was an actor and was reciting and performing. By age five he was a popular Warminster celebrity, the "boy wonder elocutionist", reciting poems, prose, and selections from various plays, including Shakespeare. Bartholomew did singing and dancing as well.

His first film role came by the age of six, in 1930. Bartholomew also pursued acting studies at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London,and appeared in a total of four minor British films. American filmmakers George Cukor and David O. Selznick saw him on a 1934 scouting trip to London, and chose him for the young title role in their MGM film David Copperfield (1935).

Bartholomew and his aunt immigrated to the U.S. in August 1934, and MGM gave him a seven-year contract. David Copperfield, which also featured Basil Rathbone, Maureen O'Sullivan, W.C. Fields and Lionel Barrymore, was a success, and made Bartholomew an overnight star. He was subsequently cast in a succession of prestigious film productions with some of the most popular stars of the day.

Among his successes of the 1930s were: Anna Karenina (1935), Professional Soldier (1935) Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), Lloyd's of London (1937), The Devil is a Sissy (1936) and Captains Courageous (1937). Captains Courageous, is Bartholomew's, best known movie and the one he most enjoyed working on. The film took an entire year to make, and much of it was shot off the coasts of Florida and of Catalina Island in California. "Bartholomew's acting skills, emotional range, perfect English diction and angelic looks made him a box-office favorite.He quickly became the second-highest paid child movie star after Shirley Temple.

By April 1936, following the film, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Bartholomew's success caused his estranged birth parents to want custody of him and his fortune. A legal battle of nearly seven years length ensued, resulting in nearly all of the wealth that Bartholomew amassed being spent on attorneys' and court fees and payouts to his birth parents and two sisters. The custody battles prompted Bartholomew's aunt to demand a raise in his salary from MGM in July 1937, leveraged by the huge success of Captains Courageous. She threatened to break his MGM contract in order to find a better-paying studio. The contract battle kept Bartholomew out of work for a year, causing among other things the postponement and eventual loss of his planned lead in a film of Rudyard Kipling's Kim, and the loss of his planned lead in Thoroughbreds Don't Cry with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.

Bartholomew eventually resumed acting in mostly lesser-quality films and roles, only three out of eleven of which were with MGM, and after 1938 he became less popular. This fall in popularity was because by late 1938 he was a 6-foot teenager, and also because the world was focusing on the growing problems of World War II and the literary classics and costume dramas were less popular.

Twentieth Century Fox's 1938 film, Kidnapped successfully paired Bartholomew again with his Little Lord Fauntleroy co-star C. Aubrey Smith. MGM re-teamed him for the fourth and fifth times with Mickey Rooney in, Lord Jeff (1938) and A Yank at Eton (1942). He co-starred with Judy Garland in the musical, Listen, Darling (1938).

In 1939 Universal re-teamed him for the third and fourth times with Jackie Cooper in, The Spirit of Culver and Two Bright Boys. He later performed in Swiss Family Robinson and Tom Brown's School Days in 1940. And as World War II deepened, Columbia had him star in three military-related films: Naval Academy (1941), Cadets on Parade (1942), and Junior Army (1942).

World War II military service interrupted Bartholomew's career even further. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force on January 13, 1943 at the age of 18, and worked in aircraft maintenance. During training he fell and injured his back, was hospitalized for seven months, and was discharged on January 12, 1944.

Bartholomew had one film role in 1944, in the low-budget comedy, The Town Went Wild. The film reunited him with Jimmy Lydon, with whom he had starred in, Tom Brown's School Days, Naval Academy, and Cadets on Parade. This ended up being Bartholomew's last film performance for seven years.

Bartholomew's efforts to revive his film career were unsuccessful; and efforts performing in regional theaters and vaudeville did not spark a comeback either. After distressing experiences including a devastating auto accident and performing unsuccessfully in a play in Los Angeles, in 1946 Barthlomew married publicist Maely Daniele. The marriage was not a happy one.

He spent most of 1948 touring small American theatres, and in November 1948 left without his wife for an Australian tour as a night-club singing and piano act. Switch to television and off-camera work. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1949, Bartholomew , began working as a television host and director to television producer and executive.

Preferring to be known as Fred C. Bartholomew, he became the television director of independent television station WPIX in New York City from 1949 through 1954. Bartholomew divorced his first wife in 1953, and in December of that year he married television chef and author Aileen Paul, whom he had met at WPIX.

With Aileen he had a daughter, Kathleen Millicent Bartholomew, born in March 1956, and a son, Frederick R. Bartholomew, born in 1958. The family, including stepdaughter Celia Ann Paul, lived in Leonia, New Jersey.This was an era in which advertising firms created and produced radio and television shows. In 1954, Bartholomew began working for Benton and Bowles, a top New York advertising agency, as a television producer and director. At Benton and Bowles, Bartholomew produced shows such as The Andy Griffith Show, and produced or directed several high-quality television soap operas including, As The World Turns, The Edge of Night and Search for Tomorrow.

In 1964 he was made a vice president of radio and television at the company. Bartholomew and Aileen divorced by early 1977. He eventually re-married again, and remained married to his third wife, Elizabeth, for the rest of his life. Suffering from emphysema, Bartholomew retired from television by the late 1980s. He eventually moved with his family to Bradenton, Florida. In 1991 he was filmed in several interview segments for the documentary film MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992).

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