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You Gotta Be a Football Hero

Original release date: Aug. 31, 1935

Popeye and Olive Oyl attend a football game where Bluto is the game's star attraction. Bluto instantly wins Olive over (surprise!), to the point that she becomes an instant cheerleader and does an enthusiastic rendition of the title song. (Even if you don't know the song by name, you'll recognize it during the opening credits. It was written in 1933 and is one of the most performed football anthems ever.)

Popeye is so chagrined, he goes right out and signs up to play on the rival team (no time to bother performing for scouts!) -- but Wimpy's the coach and is busy nursing some hamburgers, so Popeye has his work cut out for him. (Great running gag: Wimpy keeps running out to an injured Popeye with a bucket of water, but Wimpy's so distraught at the sight, he drinks the water himself.)

Mostly it's football spot-gags, rather along the lines of the climactic football game in the Marx Brothers' Horsefeathers (1932). As soon as Popeye manages a post-spinach rally, Olive does her quickest Bluto-to-Popeye transformation ever: "Er, Iím changing my mind...Go, Popeye!" Sheesh, college women!

My rating:

© 2007, Steve Bailey.

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