Louis Hayward is excellent as an American who spent eight years in England, including time at Cambridge. Now following family tradition he brings his acquired English accent to join the Corps of Cadets at West Point. Also excellent as a cadet is Tom Brown.
Steve Early (Louis Hayward) has a light hearted attitude to West Point. He was a star athlete at Cambridge and because of his arrogance and English ways the Plebes nickname him The Duke. His roommates are Robert “Sonny” Drew (Tom Brown) and Jack West (Richard Carlson).
Steve has fun annoying upperclassman Corporal Strong. He takes it even further when he romances Ann Porter (Joan Fontaine). Strong and Ann have been going together. She’s the daughter of trainer Doc Porter. Steve tells Ann he’ll see her on her birthday. He sneaks out of the barracks and keeps his promise. When he sneaks back in Strong is waiting outside his room door. He manages to cause a diversion and get back in before String catches him.
Jack gets a telegram that his mother’s business has had a reversal and he feels he should resign and go back home to help her. That night Steve sneaks out again. They think he’s going to see Ann. He puts on a civilian suit and goes in town to the Western Union office. He arranged with his bank to send a thousand dollars to Jack’s mother and asking her not to say a word to anyone where the money came from.
Steve is caught and taken before the Honor Committee after lying to Strong about being out that night. Because his family has been at West Point for generations he won’t be court martialed. He refuses to resign so he’s silenced. That means for the next four years no cadet except his roommates are allowed to talk to him. Despite being a star football player he isn’t allowed to play in the big game against Harvard and Army loses.
Steve buckles down to his studies and really tries to do the best and be at the top of his class. He also excels as an athlete. It doesn’t matter. On Recognition Day the upperclassmen traditionally shake hands with the graduating Plebes. No one shakes Steve’s hand or speaks to him. Ann feels sorry for him. Steve wants to resign. Then something happens that changes his mind.
The movie goes where you would expect but it still is a good one and definitely worth a look.
Tom Brown appeared in many movies and TV shows. He was a regular on “Mr.Lucky” as Lt.Kovacs (1959-60).