Let other coeds wait tables or shelve library books. Burlesque queen Hot-Garters Gertie is working her way through college one article of clothing at a time! Virginia Mayo and Ronald Reagan headline this rollicking campus musical comedy based on the stage and screen classic The Male Animal. Hoping to leave the daily bump 'n' grind behind, gorgeous Gertie (Mayo) enrolls at Midwest State, where she proceeds to complicate the lives of a handsome theater arts professor (Reagan), Midwest's star quarterback (Gene Nelson) and jealous rival "Poison" Ivy Williams (Patrice Wymore). It takes a smash-hit student musical, featuring tunes by Sammy Cahn and Vernon Duke, to put everything right.
SHE'S WORKING HER WAY THROUGH COLLEGE is a completely depoliticized remake of the liberal-minded comedy THE MALE ANIMAL (1942). Virginia Mayo plays an exotic dancer, Angela Gardner, who decides to improve her mind; she enrolls in a college where Professor John Palmer (Ronald Reagan) teaches English. In between Angela's lively musical numbers, the film concentrates on an old rivalry between the bookish Palmer and onetime college football jock Shep Slade (Don DeFore, who'd played a bit in THE MALE ANIMAL). When the college trustees oppose Angela's presence on campus, Palmer staunchly defends her right to an education. In the original MALE ANIMAL, the climactic scene involved a controversial public reading of a letter by anarchist Bartolomeo Vanzetti; in SHE'S WORKING HER WAY THROUGH COLLEGE, Palmer stands up at a public assembly to convince the populace that exotic dancers have the same rights as anyone else. Of course, Ronald Reagan could take a political stance if he wanted to...but not in this film.
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