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Among those who are fighting to have Congress re-establish the military academy at West Point in the beginning of the nineteenth century is a young Washington socialite, Carolyn Bainbridge. Congress resolves to revive the Academy on a one-year trial basis. Major Sam Carter, a martinet who doesn't believe a college can produce real fighting men, is made the Commandant, and determines to make soldiers - or failures - out of the small band of cadets, by enforcing stringent disciplinary action. Among the cadets are Howard Shelton, Carolyn's fiancée, and Dawson, a Kentucky frontiersman. There is bad blood between the two from the start, and matters are worsened when Dawson falls in love with Carolyn. Many of the cadets resign, under the discouraging conditions and grueling punishment that is part of Carter's plan to make the school hard and the exercises difficult, and the number of cadets left is down to ten. Word arrives that the Indian chief Tecumseh has gone on the warpath, and Carter ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The setting of the story is 1808-1811 - several years after the Academy at West point was established in 1802. The story is erroneously perceived to be about the beginning of West Point, but it is concerned with a period when the Congress was considering closing the already existing Academy. There was a move (in the film) by Henry Clay in Congress and fostered by people like Maureen O'Hara's character to keep the school going. Another character alludes to the idea that the school was able to only graduate 1 officer the year before and that the past graduates were not all that could be expected. Worth watching. It is a shame that it was filmed on Hollywood's Western ranch sets rather than the beautiful setting on the Hudson. I guess it would have been too expensive and they would have to shoot around the more modern buildings. A historic fort like Ticonderoga would have been a good setting.
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