TCM Celebrates 150 Years of College Football With 'Gridiron Glory' Movie Showcase

Rick and Christina Gables
Courtesy of TCM

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football this season, Turner Classic Movies and the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame have teamed up to showcase classic college football movies throughout the month of September.

The series, titled Gridiron Glory: College Football In The Movies, will air a total of 15 movies over four Fridays in September, beginning with The Freshman on Friday, September 6.

The Freshman (Courtesy of TCM)

Throughout the TCM Spotlight, viewers will see exclusive footage of Ben Mankiewicz interviewing College Football Hall of Fame inductees, Lou Holtz and Ed Marinaro at the Hall in Atlanta.

“I thoroughly enjoyed trading in the studio for the College Football Hall of Fame, especially with a couple of college legends, Lou Holtz and Ed Marinaro, sitting beside me,” said Ben Mankiewicz.

Photo: E. M. Pio Roda / TCM

“Coach Holtz has been one of the signature faces and voices of college football all my life, while Ed played a critical role on ‘Hill Street Blues,’ the show that kicked off the television renaissance we’re still experiencing today. This is the first time TCM has celebrated college football in film and it comes at the perfect moment – the start of the 150th season of college football, and I fear another 6-6 campaign for the UCLA Bruins.”

Knute Rockne All American (Courtesy of TCM)

Programming includes:

  • Sept. 6: Football Comedies, co-hosted by Dennis Adamovich, CEO of the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame: these include such classics as The Freshman (1925), the Harold Lloyd silent in which he plays a university freshman who tries to become popular by joining the school's football team; and Horse Feathers (1932), a Marx Brothers vehicle in which Groucho is a college president who hires professional players to beef up a terrible football team
  • Sept. 13: Place Your Bets!, hosted by Ben Mankiewicz: a series of college football films from the 1930s - each of which tells of a student whose participation in football threatens his integrity and his relationship with a girlfriend
  • Sept. 20: Most Valuable Players, co-hosted by Ed Marinaro: a trio of films including two biopics, Knute Rockne All American (1940), starring Pat O'Brien as Rockne and Ronald Reagan as George Gipp; and Jim Thorpe -- All American (1951), starring Burt Lancaster
  • Sept. 27: Love & Football, co-hosted by Lou Holtz: featuring three films combining the subjects. Two are early-talkie comedies: So This Is College (1929), starring Robert Montgomery and Elliott Nugent; and Eleven Men and a Girl (1930), starring Joan Bennett and Joe E. Brown