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Smith of Minnesota (1942)

Smith of Minnesota


Action / Drama / Sports

66 minutes

Directed by Lew Landers


Bruce Smith as Himself
Arline Judge as Gwyn Allen
Warren Ashe as Charles Hardy
Don Beddoe as Lu Smith
Kay Harris as Olive Smith
Robert Stevens as George Smith
Roberta Smith as June Smith
Rosemary DeCamp as Mrs. Smith
Maurice Murphy as Wayne Smith
Dick Hogan as Gibby Dapper
Douglas Leavitt as Gus Boosalis
Alma Carroll as Edith

Columbia Pictures producer Edward Northrup wants to make a film about All-American running back Bruce Smith and wants Charles Hardy to write the story. Hardy has no interest in football and knows nothing about it. Northrup informs hardy that Smith maintains a B+ average and is a family man in order to change his mind, but Hardy feels all football films are the same plot. He ends up going to Minnesota and assumes Faribault is a hick town with only one train arriving per day, so he never informs the family of his arrival time. The Smiths leave newspaperwoman Gwyn Allen to receive Hardy since they get tired of waiting for him. Allen is surprised at Hardy’s attitude towards everything and explains how important football is to the town and how Bruce influences the community. She also talks about the rivalry between Minnesota and Michigan. Allen then takes Hardy to meet the Smith family, as they nervously await his arrival. He stays with the family after they invite him, but he’s not too excited about his stay. Hardy begins to interview Bruce’s older brother, George, who explains to Hardy how his father played football for Minnesota thirty-two years ago and lost an important game to Michigan. He vowed he would have a son who would help defeat Michigan and was rewarded with Bruce.  Allen becomes frustrated with Hardy not getting to know the townspeople and introduces him to people who know the family well and they tell him stories of when Bruce was a youngster. This doesn’t help Hardy and he asks Northrup if he can go home. Northrup refuses and Hardy begins to be inspired after speaking with Bruce’s mother on her concern over Bruce’s injuries. From this information he sees Bruce’s dedication to the sport and how united his family is. When Hardy speaks with Bruce he tells him about his coaches and the respect he has for them. Unfortunately Bruce’s injuries don’t allow him to play professionally, but he enlists in the Navy with George. Hardy returns to visit the family again and continues his romance with Allen. 

Bruce P. Smith (February 8, 1920 – August 28, 1967), nicknamed 'Boo', was an American football player best known for winning the Heisman Trophy in 1941. He was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 1967, and he spent the next several months visiting young cancer patients with the Rev. William Cantwell. Smith lost over half his body weight before succumbing to the disease. In 1972 Bruce Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. His number 54 was the first to be officially retired by the Minnesota Gophers, in 1977.

Actors: Don Beddoe, Rosemary DeCamp
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Matinee Classics - Smith of Minnesota starring Bruce Smith, Arline Judge, Warren Ashe, Don Beddoe, Kay Harris, Robert Stevens, Roberta Smith, Rosemary DeCamp, Maurice Murphy, Dick Hogan, Douglas Leavitt and Alma Carroll

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