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William A. Wellman
George K. Arthur,
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Wealthy Brice Wayne enters West Point and, though he does well on the football field, angers fellow cadets with his arrogance. Disciplined by the coach he yells "To hell with the Corps!" which would have led to further discipline but for the intervention of his hero-worshipping roommate "Tex." He resigns anyway, but just before the big game returns to lead his team and reunite with Betty Channing, the hotel owner's daughter. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
His idea of Field Manuevers weren't military -- he thought they meant a petting party! While the other "kaydets" studied War, he studied Love. You'll certainly enjoy this rollicking story of romantic West Point, naturally filmed at the U.S. Military Academy!
William Haines and his lifetime friend Joan Crawford played the leads in the first silent screen film I've ever set at the US Military Academy, appropriately entitled West Point. Both were young contract players at MGM at the time. Crawford going to legendary status and Haines forced to give up acting when he wouldn't stay quietly in the closet.
To the last day of her life Crawford insisted that the happiest couple she knew in Hollywood was Billy Haines and his partner. Haines landed on his feet and became one of the most sought out interior designers in Hollywood. Among his clients was Nancy Reagan.
In this film Haines played his usual smart aleck whom we meet first on the Day Line boat to West Point to join the US Military Academy as a plebe. What struck me in his performance is how much it resembled Tyrone Power in one of his hero/heel roles like A Yank In The RAF or In Old Chicago. Power in the sound era could have done this one in his sleep.
Crawford meets Haines on the Day Line and this man starts putting the moves on Joan right then and there. The plot from there on in is pretty predictable given Haines's screen persona. The climax of course is the great Army/Navy game.
All the clichés in service academy films are there few films with this setting that had variation. Still Haines and Crawford are good and William Bakewell who is one of the few other cadets who becomes Bill Haines's friend even after he becomes a football hero stands out in the supporting cast.
For myself I remember once a year going to Bear Mountain for an overnight get away with Daniel Strausbaugh and later David Frank and with both of them we did the Day Line. I miss you both and the film brought back some good times.
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