The Law of Contact

Harvard Here I Come (December 18, 1941)

'Slapsie' Maxie Rosenbloom

Released on December 18, 1941: Retired boxer Slapsie Maxie is given a lampoon award from the Harvard Lampoon for being a perfect moron, and decides to get revenge by getting educated at Harvard.

Directed by Lew Landers

The Actors: Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom (Maxie), Arline Judge (Francie Callahan), Stanley Brown (Harrison Carey), Don Beddoe (Hypo McGonigle), Marie Wilson (Zella Phipps), Virginia Sale (Miss Brisbie, Professor Alvin's secretary), Byron Foulger (Professor Alvin), Boyd Davis (Professor Hayworth), Julius Tannen (Professor Anthony), Walter Baldwin (Professor MacSquigley), Tom Herbert (Professor Teeter), Larry Parks (Eddie Spellman), George McKay (Blinky), John Tyrrell (Slug), Mary Ainslee (Phyllis), Harry A. Bailey (guest), Lloyd Bridges (Larry), Yvonne De Carlo (bathing girl), Ed Emerson (Mr. Plunkett), Al Hill (doorman), Marion Martin (Oomphie), Jack Mulhall (reporter), Jack Perry (party guest), Charles Ray (reporter), Tom Seidel (boy), Dan Tobey (master of ceremonies), Bobby Watson (Horace).


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When I was young, I can remember my dad exclaiming, "I can't afford to be stupid . . . I don't have a college degree." And like Slapsie Maxie in this movie, he could do more math in his head than I could do with a paper and pencil. Yeah, I know that today paper and pencils are out - students today carry their own pocket calculator to do all their thinking for them. But dad knew short cuts in math - he could figure complicated problems in his head that took me much longer to do with a paper and pencil. I remember one time when he tried to teach me one of his mental tricks with math, but I couldn't follow him as he explained how he manipulated numbers in his head . . . or maybe I was just too lazy to care . . . youth is so-o-o-o-o wasted on the young.

Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom was a boxer who won the light heavyweight championship of the world in 1932. He got the nick-name 'Slapsie' from his open glove style of boxing, instead of using a closed fist punch. He moved so quickly in the ring that he seldom got hit hard. In 1937 he started acting as the big, tough but lovable character actor. He retired from boxing entirely in 1939, and opened a comedy night club, along with continued acting parts in movies. This is the only movie that he was the top star in, and he played himself - a retired boxer who owned a nightclub. When he discovers that the Harvard Lampoon award that he got was intended to make fun of him, he decides to go to Harvard to learn big words so that no one could make fun of him again without him knowing it. How did he do? At the end of the movie he was earning $750 a week and Harvard was paying him $1,500 to attend . . . and this is when $750 - his weekly earnings - would buy a brand new car. So who were the smart ones?

Now I'm not saying that it pays to be dumb, and I am not saying that you should not strive for every bit of education and knowledge that you can get, but what I am saying is that the laws of the universe do not bow to the brain that holds the most knowledge. An abundant life, rich with health, wealth and happiness goes to the person that knows how to find and exploit his passion, and learn everything he needs to know from within, not from without. Munch on your white-kernel buttered and salted popcorn and think about that one for a minute as you watch Slapsie Maxie matriculate at Harvard.

Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom - 1941Byron Foulger - 1941
'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom - 1941

Byron Foulger - 1941

Lloyd BridgesSlapsie Maxie and Byron Foulger
Lloyd Bridges - 1941Slapsie Maxie and Byron Foulger
Slapsie Maxie and Marie WilsonYvonne De Carlo, Slapsie Maxie and Byron Foulger
Slapsie Maxie and Marie WilsonYvonne De Carlo - 1941