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"The Duke of West Point" - Military Academy Adventure
released on December 29, 1938
The Actors: Louis Hayward (Steven Earley), Joan Fontaine (Ann Porter), Tom Brown (Robin 'Sonny' Drew), Richard Carlson (John West), Alan Curtis (Cadet Strong), Don 'Red' Barry (Cadet Grady), Steve Pendleton (Cadet Rains), Charles D. Brown (Doc Porter), Jed Prouty (Mr. Drew), Marjorie Gateson (Mrs. Drew), Emma Dunn (Mrs. West), George McKay (Varsity Hockey Coach), James Flavin (Plebe Hockey Boach), Nick Lukats (Plebe Football Coach), Kenneth Harlan (Varsity Football Coack), Jonathan Hale (Colonel Earley), William Bakewell (Committee Captain), Art Raymond (country boy), Anthony Nace (First Captain of Corps), Mary MacLaren (Nurse), Edward Earle (Surgeon), Allen Connor (tactical officer), Edward LeSaint (the oath giver)
From Cambridge to West Point
The United States Military Academy at West Point was created during our Revolutionary War with Britain and has been turning out some of the finest military leaders for the United States ever since. In this story of the cadets a Brit Limey joins the new class and turns the place on its ears. But wait . . . you tell me that no British citizen could ever gain admission to West Point, because only U.S. boys are appointed to this Military Academy? Well, here is how it happens in this story . . . Every man in the Earley family has attended West Point since the Revolutionary War, and Louis Hayward plays young Steven Earley, the next Earley boy to attend this prestigious academy, but he has grown up in England and has just graduated from Cambridge. His father, U.S. Colonel Earley, is the Military Attaché at the American Embassy in London, so young Steven has grown up in England and attended British schools, finally graduating from Cambridge . . . A British athletic star known and admired around the Empire. Now it is time for him to join the other men of the Earley family and attend West Point at the invitation of the President of the United States. Steven's father, Colonel Earley, played by Jonathan Hale, is worried about his son heading to West Point, and with good reason. Steven has grown up in a country that is divided from America by a common language . . . although the Yanks and the Brits speak the same language, their cultures and slang and accumulated history are very, very different, and Papa Earley is worried that son Steven is mentally 'British' and will have tremendous problems fitting in with the Yank boys . . . and boy-oh-boy, is Papa correct! The only question is . . . Will Steven Earley, with his British background, speech and customs morph into a U.S. Army West Point graduate? . . . Will Steven Earley capture the heart of a very young blonde girl, played by a very young Joan Fontaine? . . . Will Steven Earley conquer West Point and move on into an illustrious career in the Army or will West Point chew him up and spit him out like so much gristle? Will Steven Earley be the first man in the Earley family to be kicked out of West Point? . . . It appears so . . . It will take you an entertaining 100 minutes to find out . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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Make them laugh, make them cry, and back to laughter. What do people want to go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise . . . Mary Pickford
Some of my Favorites:
Probably my all time favorite movie, My Man Godfrey in 1936 not only gives us an comedic peek at the wealthiest and poorest during the Great Depression, but also was the vehicle for Carole Lombard to create the movie icon of the 'dumb blonde screwball comedy' that is a popular theme even today.
Meet John Doe - 1941: The Frank Capra classic set in the Great Depression era that pits the common man against the political masters. You can't be a fan of old movies until you watch Frank Capra's old movies. This one premiered seventy years ago, and it still stirs our emotions and thoughts now. It is as timely as if it were produced today.
The Time of Your Life - 1948: James Cagney financed this strangely different feel-good movie, and he plays the part of Joe, a barfly that tries to live his life by making everyone around him better. I watch this one often, and try to become more like Joe every day.
Painted Faces - 1929: Comedy legend Joe E. Brown is a circus clown in a surprisingly serious role as a juror in a Christmas week murder trial who tells the other jurors a story that will change their verdicts in a pre-code drama that could not have been made a few years later.
Charade - 1963: It doesn't get much better than Cary Grant and Audry Hepburn in a tale of death, deception, spies and lost wealth as a woman tries to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in this cold-war spy thriller love story.