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At an exclusive military academy on Sabre Island (played by Catalina Island), attended by rich young delinquents who think money puts them above the law. Enter Steve Conway (Mickey Rooney) - there to investigate the death of his son, who he had been told died in an accident. The Mick(ey Rooney, that is) finds himself quickly in 5 feet of trouble (over his eyebrows), when he's met with hostility by the school's commandant, Major Redfern Kelly (Dan Duryea), and the latter's sweetheart-secretary, Jennifer Evans (Terry Moore); intimidated by the cadet drill instructor, Vince Perley (Christopher Dark), and the P.E. instructor, Hack Marlow (Richard Jaeckel). Attempts are made on his life by a trio of cadets, known collectively as "the 3 beasts", and he's trapped in a 3-against-1 fight with rifles, Just to keep him tested, there's a big speedboat vs. small motor boat (Rooney's craft of course) chase through shark-infested waters. This happens right after he makes a startling discovery when ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Since this is an Albert Zugsmith quickie, it looks like it might have Schlock written all over it. And admittedly, the story doesn't exactly hold up. But it's told in an earnest, believable way, with a hard-working cast. Mickey Rooney elicits a lot of sympathy as a father who lost his son figuratively and then literally. You wonder why he wears a suit and tie even while rowing a boat, but what the heck, it was probably his suit and the only wardrobe he got on the film. The rest of the actors are solid, including the always reliable Dan Duryea. Director Charles Haas knows how to set up a scene and knows how to let the actors tell the story. It's not bad.
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