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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    College films: Rating the best and the worst

    Everyone knows and loves all the great high school films, but what about all the great college films? Problem is, there aren’t that many. We tried our best, but this is all we could scrounge up…

    Horse Feathers (1932)

    “”Tomorrow we start tearing down the college,”” declares the university’s new president, Groucho Marx. “”But professor, where will the students sleep?”” he is asked. “”Where they always sleep,”” he retorts. “”The classroom.”” Advice to savor when wandering around our construction-riddled, new-building-addicted campus.

    The Graduate (1967)

    Its relationship to college is tangential at best (though several key scenes take place on a campus). Nonetheless, every college student should find something to identify with in the tale of Dustin Hoffman’s tangled love life, to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s melancholy soundtrack. (Today Hoffman would be floating around the swimming pool listening to Neko Case and Cat Power.)

    National Lampoon’s Animal House (1980)

    Strangely mild and uneventful, considering its reputation, “”Animal House”” plays rather oddly today. I mean, its most scandalous event is a food fight. You could probably show this to an auditorium of deans and not get any walk-outs. Still, it holds together better than most of the films that ripped it off. John Belushi stars, and has about 15 words of dialogue.

    Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

    Not only was “”Revenge of the Nerds”” filmed in Tucson, it was filmed on the UA campus, and it looks more or less the same as it does now. Unfortunately, this mid-’80s “”classic”” is nearly unwatchable today: It’s sexist, stupid and downright unbelievable. Take it from us: Despite the vaunted quality of ’80s teen movies, they take a real dive once any of the characters graduate high school.

    “”Homer Goes to college”” (1993)

    OK, yeah, this isn’t a movie. Nevertheless, this classic episode of “”The Simpsons”” – in which Homer Simpson tries to pass a single college class using everything he’s learned from movies like “”School of Hard Knockers”” (starring “”Corey Masterson””) – is funnier than anything else on this list. “”There are two kinds of college students: jocks and nerds,”” Homer explains. “”As a jock, it is my duty to give nerds a hard time.”” You tell ’em, Homer.

    Old School (2003)

    Billed as a college comedy, this film – which centers on 30-something homeowner Luke Wilson’s attempt to start a fraternity so he won’t get kicked out of his university-adjacent house – is more of a mainstream farce. Surprisingly funny, apart from the college stuff (has anyone who’s ever written a screenplay about college ever been to college?).

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