THE MALE ANIMAL (1942) B/W 101m dir: Elliott Nugent
w/Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Leslie, Jack Carson, Eugene Pallette, Herbert Anderson, Hattie McDaniel, Ivan F. Simpson, Don DeFore, Jean Ames, Minna Phillips, Regina Wallace, Frank Mayo, William B. Davidson, Bobby Barnes
Clever, witty comedy about a dull but principled college professor, his wife, and a former football hero friend from their college days who pays them a visit.
At the website http://www.lehigh.edu/~ineng/ssm6/ssm6-compfilm.html the author compares several films, including THE MALE ANIMAL, to THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLINT:
"The Male Animal is comparable to The People vs. Larry Flynt for its rebellion against the conservative authorities and its celebration of free speech in the ending scenes. The once serene world of English Professor Tommy Turner (Henry Fonda) is turned upside down when he announces that he will read a controversial letter to his class written by anarchist, Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Despite disapproval from his wife, colleagues, and friends, Tommy is determined to read the letter. When an overbearing right-wing university trustee named Edward Keller (comparable to Falwell) threatens him,Tommy states, "You can't suppress ideas, Mr. Keller, because you don't like them." This statement is practically identical to Isaacman's closing remarks in the Hamilton County Court. Isaacman professes, "We live in a free country. And that it a powerful idea. That's a magnificent way to live. But there is a price for that freedom, which is that sometimes we have to tolerate things that we don't necessarily like." Also similar to the forthcoming contents of Isaacman's speech, Tommy declares, "If I can't read this letter today, if it must be suppressed before you even heard what it is --- tomorrow none of us will be able to read anything or teach anything except what Edward K. Keller and the trustees permit us to teach." After Tommy reads the Vanzetti letter, he is celebrated by the students and faculty for his patriotism."