6 user 3 critic

Saturday's Heroes (1937)

A college football star struggles to return integrity to the game.


Edward Killy


Paul Yawitz (screen play), Charles Kaufman (screen play) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Val Webster
Marian Marsh ... Frances Thomas
Richard Lane ... Red Watson
Alan Bruce ... Burgeson
Minor Watson ... Doc Thomas
Frank Jenks ... Dubrowsky
Willie Best ... Sam
Walter Miller ... Coach Banks
Crawford Weaver ... Baker
George Irving ... President Hammond
John Arledge ... Ted Calkins
Dick Hogan ... Freshman
Al St. John ... Andy Jones (as Al St.John)
Charles Trowbridge ... President Horace C. Mitchell


A college football star struggles to return integrity to the game.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wager | train | threat | temper | suicide | See All (22) »


Drama | Romance | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heróis do Futebol See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Altoona Friday 15 June 1956 on WFBG (Channel 10); it soon became a popular local favorite and first aired in Philadelphia Thursday 12 July 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6) , in Detroit Monday 10 September 1956 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Memphis Saturday 15 September 1956 on WHBQ (Channel 13), in San Francisco Wednesday 10 October 1956 on KPIX (Channel 5), in New York City Tuesday 16 October 1956 on WOR (Channel 9), in Los Angeles Sunday 12 November 1956 on KHJ (Channel 9), in Pittsburgh Tuesday 27 November 1956 on KDKA (Channel 2), in both New Haven and in Miami Saturday 8 December 1956 on WNHC (Channel 8) and on WITV (Channel 17), and in Cincinnati Friday 28 December 1956 on WLW-T (Channel 5). See more »


Referenced in American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly Timely
5 September 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The movie runs barely an hour and must have cost all of 50 bucks to make. What makes this little programmer noteworthy is its topic-- big time college football as a big time business. Actually the screenplay could have been plucked from today's sports headlines. Sixty years has made little difference in how the college game is played or in how players are affected by the commercialism.

A very young Van Heflin is the team quarterback who gets his brains beat out every week for a scholarship but no money. So he picks up proceeds from illegal ticket-scalping. The coach knows it and so does the college president, but they look the other way because of his value to the team. So, in a clear sense, these school officials are parties to an illicit act.

I like the way the screenplay shows how the practice is embedded in the larger school administration because of what the profits from big time football mean to the school and its alumni, despite the corruptive influence. Of course, the schemes for benefiting key players in today's game have gone far beyond penny-ante scalping, as sports headlines now and again indicate. Nonetheless, in the movie, Heflin's solution is a simple and straightforward one-- pay the players for performing. Then, of course, they're no longer amateurs, but at least an important element of corruption is removed from the game.

The fact that big time college football continues the pretense of the amateur athlete shows not only the power of the mystique but the advantages of not having to pay the work force. And one reason I expect the movie got made when it did is because of the Depression era concern with the well-being of labor in all fields including even college football.

The film itself is marred by a lot of silliness from Frank Sully as the stereotypical dumb lineman. There's also the usual boy-girl complications that include the super-cute Marian Marsh. On the other hand, there's some fine acting from Heflin, clearly on his way to bigger things, and also what I think is a legitimately funny running-gag from Al "Fuzzy" St. John as the grizzled "water boy". Though obviously dated in most respects, there remains a solid core of interest behind this cheap RKO programmer.

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