A Broadway director helps the West Point cadets put on a show, aided by two lovely ladies and assorted complications.A Broadway director helps the West Point cadets put on a show, aided by two lovely ladies and assorted complications.A Broadway director helps the West Point cadets put on a show, aided by two lovely ladies and assorted complications.
While The West Point Story isn't the greatest film Cagney ever did at Warner Brothers, it's far from the worst and I find it charming and entertaining.
This was his second film with Virginia Mayo and quite a contrast it was after White Heat. The lovely Ms. Mayo also got to show what a good dancer she was both with Cagney and Gene Nelson.
The singing is carried in this film by Doris Day and Gordon MacRae. Usually folks don't think of Gordon MacRae as Doris's most frequent leading man, but in fact he did four films with her. He had a wonderful baritone voice and he could easily adapt to light musical fare like The West Point Story or do operetta like The Desert Song which he did a few years later. It's too bad for MacRae that he did not come along 20 years earlier and could have done a few of those operettas the way Nelson Eddy did.
Gene Nelson was a fine dancer who when musicals went out of vogue, turned to directing. Another talented performer who came along a little too late. He never got the credit for being the fine dancer he was.
The plot is simple, James Cagney and Virginia Mayo once a good pair of top choreographers are reduced to seedy nightclub work. Cagney gets an opportunity to go to West Point to help put on the annual 100th night show the graduating class does. The catch is he has to try to lure Gordon MacRae to the bright lights of Broadway for his producer uncle Roland Winters. From there the plot evolves.
And it's a nice story with good musical numbers even though Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn got no hits out of the score. Still the songs are well integrated into the plot.
I think people will enjoy watching The West Point Story.
- Jul 17, 2005