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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 8 June 23, 1943

A Yank at Eton

A Yank at Eton

Mickey in his natural habitat spieling round with the girls of Small-town, is pretty poisonous, but it's heaven compared with the bumptious lout hobnobbing with the plutocracy. If the Rooney is America's ideal of an adolescent, then I prefer the milder New Zealand variety, even though it may have come from Wan-gan-oo-ah. The moral of the picture, if such a thing exists, was by no means plain. Even at the end, with Mickey aping the aristocracy, one had the feeling that Eton was streets above his infantile mentality. Despite the good slap-stick with the taxi, and the fight in the night club, the general effect was of loathing for "vital" American youth, and admiration for the restraint and dignity of the Etonians. We thus have a film deliberately boosting the English Public Schools, surely the most outmoded aspect of an obsolescent society. Their effort in maintaining class distinctions is dangerous to democracy, and except at the very largest, that is, the most expensive, the teaching very mediocre. We see the results even at Victoria, in those snobby individuals whose outlook is permanently marred by the feeling of superiority drilled so assiduously into their little brains by the "prep" schools and "collegiates" of God's Own Country. I have heard it said of a friend that "he had been to W——but fortunately he had managed to get over it" Why should we suffer such a boost, from Hollywood of all places, of that cancerous system whereby a man may display his filthy lucre by endowing his son with the right to say, "When I was at Harrow" or "Damme sir, at Eton . . . or "at King's College we would have horsewhipped the bounders."