Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Alternate title: Fine and Dandy
USA, 1950. Warner Bros.. Story by Irving Wallace, Screenplay by John Monks Jr., Charles Hoffman, Irving Wallace. Cinematography by Sidney Hickox. Produced by Louis F. Edelman. Music by Howard Jackson. Production Design by Charles H. Clarke. Costume Design by Marjorie Best, Milo Anderson. Film Editing by Owen Marks. Academy Awards 1950.
Even fans of musicals find it difficult to endure the military-themed ones, but this one is bearable thanks to the energy and charm of its stars. James Cagney plays a washed-up Broadway director who is hired to direct a musical production done by the students of West Point Academy. Arriving there he meets his rival producer’s nephew (Gordon MacRae), a golden-voiced Lothario whom Cagney is hoping to sign a contract with and exploit. To perk up the production, Cagney asks an old friend who is now a movie star (Doris Day) to show up and be the one girl in the show. Routine plot with some pretty ridiculous incidents and endless spouting of military rhetoric, all boiling down to a grand musical finale. Day is delightful and sings beautifully, while Virginia Mayo is ridiculously cast at the age of 30 as Cagney’s long-suffering, aging fiancee.