Thinking he may have caused the death of his commanding officer Captain Daniels in Tunisia, Rocky visits Daniels' widow. She falls for him, he falls for her, she encourages him to go to ... See full summary »
Beyond Glory casts Alan Ladd as a West Point cadet, a former soldier from the late war who carries around a feeling of terrible guilt in that he caused the death of his commanding officer in Tunisia played by Tom Neal. The fact that he was admitted should have told him he was all right by army standards. He's more than all right by the standards of Donna Reed who is Neal's widow and she's relying on nothing more than woman's intuition.
It all comes out in the open after cadet Conrad Janis is dismissed for violating the Academy honor code at Ladd's behest. Janis goes crying to his rich father Harold Vermilyea who then hires a high priced lawyer in George Coulouris to get a court of inquiry going. The whole business regarding Ladd in Tunisia is all about to come out.
Coulouris is a real shark and I'm sure his services didn't come cheap. He's also got a bigger mission in mind, the whole structure of West Point involving the cadet honor code. His opposite number here is George MacReady who usually is competing with Coulouris for the kind of parts that Coulouris has in Beyond Glory. For one of the few times in his career, George MacReady is a good guy and that takes a bit of getting used to.
By the way the explanation for what happened to Ladd and Neal in Tunisia is deceptively simple. I won't reveal it of course, but let us say that frankness and open communication among friends and comrades was definitely required here.
One of the West Point class of 1915 and lately the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower appears in newsreel footage giving a speech to what would have been Ladd's graduating class. You can't a more official imprimatur than that for Beyond Glory. And if that's not enough Audie Murphy makes his screen debut as one of Ladd's fellow cadets.
Beyond Glory with background footage of West Point in the tradition of such other tribute films like Flirtation Walk, The Long Gray Line, and The West Point Story is a well made film. I think today's audiences will like it.