The Freshman

1990, Movie, PG, 102 mins

Review

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Matthew Broderick stars as Clark Kellogg, a freshman from Vermont who comes to the Big Apple to study film at New York University. His most flamboyant professor is Arthur Fleeber (a scene-stealing turn by Paul Benedict, best known as Mr. Bentley of television's "The Jeffersons") who has committed every moment from THE GODFATHER PART II to memory. The great man assigns $700 worth of his own publications as required reading for his course. Kellogg gets an education in New York street life before he even gets to school, as he is robbed shortly upon hitting town by a con man, Victor Ray (Bruno Kirby). Kellogg eventually tracks Ray down but, instead of returning his stuff, the slick character offers to introduce the freshman to a real Godfather, his Uncle Carmine (Marlon Brando), an "importer-exporter" who can provide Kellogg with a high-paying, "totally legitimate" job.

There's not much to THE FRESHMAN beyond the spectacle of Brando gently spoofing his most famous role, but that's a pretty sizeable asset. Broderick is his usual charming self, and there are occasional moments of inspired whimsy or absurdity: Brando on ice skates, Bert Parks delivering a rousing rendition of Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm." leave a comment

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