West Point Story 1950 (Also known as Fine and Dandy)
Is a Musical comedy Directed by Roy Del Ruth.
Starring James Cagney, Doris Day, Virginia Mayo,
Gordon MacRae, and Gene Nelson.
The film received two award nominations in 1951. Ray Heindorf was nominated for aAcademy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and John Monks Jr.,Charles Hoffman and Irving Wallace were nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for Best Written American Musical.
Broadway director Bix Bixby, down on his luck (thanks to gambling), is reluctantly persuaded to go to West Point military academy (with Eve, his gorgeous assistant and on-and-off love) to help the students put on a show. Ulterior motive: to recruit student star Tom Fletcher for Harry Eberhart's new production (Eberhart just happens to be Tom's uncle). Then, Bixby finds that he himself must live as a cadet. Of course, sundered hearts come into the story also..
"This movie should have been shot in colour" is all I can think about every time I watch this musical. Somehow, the black and white photography takes away from the energy of the picture. From the very opening sequence, which was filmed at West Point, with the cadets singing and marching around the beautiful campus, one realises how spectacular this would have looked in CinemaScope and Technicolor.
"The West Point Story" was used as a vehicle to return James Cagney to musicals. This would be the first time since his Oscar win for "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and was also an opportunity for Warner Brothers to promote its new star, Doris Day,
This tale concerns Elwin Bixby, once successful producer/choreographer on Broadway, now washed up and working at a rundown New York club called Nick's Bohemian Gardens, and playing the horses to keep food on the table. His fiancée, Eve Dillon (Mayo) is at the end of her rope, trying to convince "Bix" to do something about his situation before it's too late. Bix refuses an offer by rival producer, Harry Eberhart (Roland Winters), to go to West Point and stage a show which was written by his nephew, talented cadet, Tom Fletcher (Gordon MacRae), Eberhart, assured that the show will be a hit, wants Bix to convince Tom to leave West Point and embark on a career on the stage. Fletcher is dedicated to the Army and has resisted all efforts his uncle has taken to lure him away from the Academy.
The feud between Eberhart and Bix stems from hard feelings and a tug of war concerning a young singer called Jan Wilson (Doris Day). Jan had been in an Eberhart show, buried in the chorus, and Bix secretly helped her get a Hollywood movie contract when he felt she was being misused. This sparked Eberhart to fire Bix and get him blackballed on Broadway. Afraid that Eve will leave him (she's got an offer to go to Vegas), Bix reluctantly accepts the West Point "gig". At West Point, Bix and Eve hear Tom sing for the first time. Not only is he handsome, but very talented.
The movie has run almost 35 minutes before Doris Day makes her first appearance in a New York hotel suite singing "Ten Thousand Sheep" backed by a male chorus of five men. She looks marvelous and sounds incredible. Bix convinces Jan to attend the dance by pointing out his role in her success. He wants her to break tradition and appear with Tom in the West Point show, giving him a real taste of show business and swaying his opinion in regards to leaving the Point. Jan is no fool; she'd be the first woman ever to appear in a West Point production, though she is unaware of Bix's underlying motives.( Ralph McKnight, New York, December 2000)
My favorite song from the movie is "YOU LOVE ME". Doris sings part of it at the end of the movie, but she recorded it too and it is awesome the way she sings it! I have it, but it is not on YouTube. Here Gordy sings it. It's a beautiful ballad! In fact, I think I am going to play my CD of Doris singing it - it gives me goose bumps.
This one is kinda fun. I love the way she says: "A Doctor . . .! " and the "OUUooOuu" at the end. She sings as clear as a bell, perfect timing, perfectly in tune, and with such expression, as if it was easy as pie. I don't think enough people appreciate her singing ability. It's really amazing if you listen.
"Ten Thousand Four Hundred and Thirty-Two Sheep" - Frank Comstock and his Orchestra. Is that Page Cavanaugh Trio too?
This is one I have seen maybe only a couple of times not like my usual 20 or more on most of her movies. For some reason I have never been a great fan of James Cagney, I know he is a great actor
but he always comes across as kind of gruff in most of his pictures, and I bet he has a temper in real
life also. Do you remember how he would jump up and down and scream when he got mad?
Love your songs you posted Nick and I am like you, I like the one where Doris sings the song with Gordon in "You Love Me" and the sheep song is adorable and she sings it with such expression.
Well the gal does everything with a lot of expression. I love the song where Doris and Gordon sing "The Kissing Rock" but this is the only one I could find
from the movie. Love your picture Dorine, I don't think this movie had tons of pictures but we will find more I am sure.
Hey Barbara! When you embed a video, try pasting it into the area between the "embed" code where I added the "XXX" like this <nabble_embed>XXX</nabble_embed>. Then the code will not show up above your video . . . better.
Gene Nelson sure could dance; so could all of them for that matter! From the "West Point Story."
Barbara, I think James Cagney probably had an excellent personality and sense of humor in real life. He was just a great actor and showman, but I never knew him, so I could be wrong.
Obviously he had it in him to be a tough guy, and probably was at some point in his life. But the question is how he dealt with it, and where it showed up. The ability to control emotions is where the rubber meets the road for all of us. People generally won't put up with bad behavior for long, otherwise it eventually brings out the worst in us. So choose your friends wisely. Doris said she really liked him, and vise versa.
I love watching Jimmy in action, and boy, could he dance! That was a shocker for me after all those "Gangsta" movies!
LOOK AT HIM GO!!!!! He must have jumping beans in his pocket!
Also Barbara, from the point of view of star power, West Point Story certainly had it. But it is not one of my favorite Doris Day movies either, but it is a very good movie - in my opinion.
I read somewhere (maybe "Considering Doris Day" by Tom Santopietro) that the movie is sort of divided in half, with Cagney and Virginia Mayo on one half, and Doris and Cagney on the other half; but they are rarely all together. Sort of like "Young Man With A Horn" with Sparticus trading off with Doris and Lauren Bacall. So I understand why it is not your favorite either. Black and White isn't as charming as Technicolor either.
Nick, I think one time I did try putting the code in the middle like you said, but it didn't come up.
But I will try it again, maybe I didn't put it where you said. I Think one of the reasons that Cagney
comes across kind of tough is because he is short in size, and has always had to make up for it my
being kind of tough, probably started even in his youth and carried over into his adult life.
Enjoyed the videos you posted.
Nick I think Doris sings the sheep song with such expression. Love it. Dorine that is a great picture of Doris and her Mom.
(Helping with Doris Dress)
Sorry I just now realize I had already posted two of these pictures.