Pigskin Parade (1936)

Stuart Erwin and Judy Garland
Stuart Erwin and Judy Garland

'Pigskin Parade', also known as 'Harmony Parade', is a musical comedy movie made in 1936, directed by David Butler and starring Jack Haley, Stuart Irwin, Patsy Kelly and Arline Judge. It marks the feature movie debut of the young Judy Garland and includes Betty Grable in one of her early movie starlet appearances.


The story concerns a delightfully unlikely American football match between the mighty Yale and the tiny Texas State University. Jack Haley plays Slug, the new football coach of Texas and Patsy Kelly plays his wife, Bessie, who knows more about the sport than her husband. By pure luck, they discover a hillbilly farmhand, Amos, played by Stuart Erwin. Who has an extraordinary ability to throw melons, and he becomes the star player on the team. All goes well until the unexpected occurs.


The director, David Butler, was a pioneer of movie musicals who had directed Fox's biggest silent female star, Janet Gaynor, in hits like 'Sunnyside Up' in 1929. His work displayed an unusual sense of humor and he specialised in slow, graceful camera movements.

Betty Grable had most recently played a chorus girl in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical 'Follow the Fleet' earlier in 1936, and she felt she was not being used to her best advantage. She soon moved to Paramount, but she finally rose to stardom after returning to Fox.

Stuart Erwin won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, the only actor so to do after heading the cast list.

The Texas State University in the film is completely fictional. There does exist today a Texas State University but it did not receive its name until 2003.

Main Cast

Stuart Erwin ... Amos
Jack Haley ... Slug
Patsy Kelly ... Bessie
Arline Judge ... Sally
Grady Sutton ... Mortimer
Fred Kohler, Jr. ... Biff
Johnny Downs ... Chip
Tony Martin ... Tommy
Dixie Dunbar ... Ginger Jones
Betty Grable ... Laura
Judy Garland ... Sairy
Si Jenks ... Baggage Master


Director ... David Butler
Producer ... Darryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay ... William M. Conselman, Harry Tugend, Jack Yellen
Based on ... a story by Mark Kelly, Nat Perrin, Arthur Sheekman
Cinematography ... Arthur C. Miller
Production Company ... Twentieth Century-Fox
Music ... David Buttolph
Release date ... October 23, 1936
Running time ... 93 minutes

Academy Awards

No Wins:
One Unsuccessful Nomination:
Best Supporting Actor ... Stuart Erwin