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Brother Rat
1938 Jump to Synopsis and Details
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Brother Rat, 1938, starred Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman. It was a lighthearted but positive portrayal of life at Virginia Military Institute, where freshmen are called rats and alumni refer to each other for life as brother rats. Eddie Albert reprises his stage role in his film debut. Based on the play by John Monks Jr. and Fred F. Finklehoffe. Remade in 1952 as About Face. Sequel: Brother Rat and a Baby


Two wild-spirited cadets at the Virginia Military Institute, Morris and Reagan, try to hold back their rule-breaking tendencies in the weeks before graduation, but things get a bit harried when their buddy Albert, who is secretly married, learns that his wife is pregnant. They hide Albert's wife in the barracks during the pre-graduation football game and prom, and, meanwhile, Reagan starts romancing the commandant's daughter, Wyman, and Morris woos Lane. All three young men get their diplomas without any of the school's officers really knowing what went on.


Priscilla Lane as Joyce Winfree

Wayne Morris as Billy Randolph

Johnnie Davis as A. Furman Towsend, Jr.

Jane Bryan as Kate Rice

Eddie Albert as 'Bing' Edwards

Ronald Reagan as Dan Crawford

Jane Wyman as Claire Adams

Henry O'Neill as Colonel Ramm

Gordon Oliver as Capt 'Lacedrawers' Rogers

Larry Williams as Harley Harrington

William Tracy as Misto Bottome (as William Tracey)

Jessie Busley as Mrs. Brooks

Olin Howland as Slim

Louise Beavers as Jenny

Isabel Withers as Nurse

Allan Cavan as Superintendant

Jerry Cecil as Cadet

Don DeFore as Baseball Catcher

Jerry Fletcher as Cadet With a Sweet Briar Girl

Mildred Gover as Colonel Ramm's Maid

Fred Hamilton as Newsreel Scott

Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian as Baseball Coach

Howard Leeds as Cadet

Wilfred Lucas as Ballfield Doctor

Hugh McArthur as Cadet

George O'Hanlon as Orderly

William T. Orr as Member of the Guard

Mark Roberts as Tripod Andrews

Cliff Saum as Baseball Umpire

Tom Seidel as Cadet


Directed by
William Keighley 

Writing credits
John Monks Jr. and Fred F. Finklehoffe (play)
Richard Macaulay and Jerry Wald(screenplay)

Produced by
Robert Lord - associate producer
Hal B. Wallis - executive producer
Jack L. Warner - executive producer

Original Music by
Heinz Roemheld

Cinematography by
Ernest Haller

Film Editing by
William Holmes 

Art Direction by
Max Parker 

Costume Design by
Milo Anderson (gowns)

Production Management
Carroll Sax - unit manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chuck Hansen - assistant director

Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson - sound

Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein - musical director
Max Steiner - composer: background cues

Other crew
George Abbott - producer: stage play
Frank McCarthy - technical advisor

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