John Randall is an Army cadet at West Point. His younger brother Paul is a midshipman at the Naval Academy. John contrives to help Paul’s timid romantic interest in Nancy Wayne by pretending to be interested in her himself. Paul, however, takes offense, and determines to beat his brother in the Army-Navy football game on purely personal grounds. Meanwhile, Paul and fellow midshipman Albert Price are hazed and tormented by upperclassmen.
Director: David Butler (uncredited), John Ford (uncredited).
Stars: George O’Brien, Helen Chandler, William Janney, Stepin Fetchit, Frank Albertson, Joyce Compton, David Butler, Lumsden Hare, Clifford Dempsey, Ward Bond, John Wayne (uncredited).
Thanks Jon. I’ve waited forty years to see this rare John Ford. Even here, you can see Ford’s love for militaristic ritual & traditional regimentation. Plus very young appearances by Bond, Wayne, Chandler & especially an almost unrecognizable Lee Tracy as the radio announcer (only his quintessential rat-a-tat delivery gives him away). Certainly worth a viewing but beware of Ford’s use of racial stereotyping with Stepin Fetchit. It is a bit unfortunate in such an important film.
Thanks Jon for this Butler/Ford rare film.
Terrific early talkie filmed on real locations, and how great is it seeing young John Wayne and Ward Bond, not to mention the star, George O’Brien. Stepin Fetchit’s dumbo act provides the Not Politically Correct comedy relief in an otherwise turgid military love story.
I’d like to see a lot more of George O’Brien’s silent films. Wish you could get East Side, West Side, Paid to Love, and The Dancers.