Varsity Show
Directed byWilliam Keighley
Screenplay byJerry Wald
Reichard Macaulay
Sig Herzig
Warren Duff
Story byWarren Duff
Sig Herzig
StarringDick Powell
Fred Waring and Waring's Pennsylvanians
Ted Healy
Priscilla Lane
CinematographySol Polito
George Barnes (finale)
Edited byGeorge Amy
Music byRay Heindorf (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • October 4, 1937 (1937-10-04)
Running time
121 min. (original release)
80 min. (edited release)
CountryUnited States

Varsity Show is a 1937 American musical film directed by William Keighley from a script by Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay, Warren Duff and Sig Herzig and starring Dick Powell, Fred Waring and Waring's Pennsylvanians, Ted Healy, and Priscilla Lane. Released by Warner Bros., it features songs by Richard A. Whiting and many others. The finale was directed by Busby Berkeley.


The film follows a group of students at fictional Winfield College who butt heads with their faculty advisor while producing an annual stage show. They decide to enlist help from a former student Chuck Daly (Dick Powell), who is now a big Broadway producer, to direct their show. What they don't know is that Daly's last three shows were big flops. Inevitably, Daly and students clash with the stodgy professor. After some turn of events and plot twists, the production is finally mounted in New York City with great success. Daly's reputation is rehabilitated.



In 1937, Fred Waring was approached to play a starring role in this film. He brought his famous glee club, the Pennsylvanians, to the shoot and planned on using the college glee club from Pomona College ("Winfield College" in the movie) for additional singers. When Waring arrived at the campus he found the Glee Club conductor was ill but his replacement was Robert Shaw. Shaw followed Fred Waring, after the movie was finished, to New York. There, Shaw founded the Collegiate Chorale and the Robert Shaw Chorale. Robert Shaw went on to be one of the most important personalities in American choral music in the 20th century.