AN ANNAPOLIS STORY (director: Don Siegel; screenwriters: from the story by Daniel B. Ullman/Geoffrey Homes/Daniel B. Ullman; cinematographer: Sam Leavitt; editor: William Austin; music: Marlin Skiles; cast: John Derek (Tony J. Scott), Diana Lynn (Peggy Lord), Kevin McCarthy (Jim R. Scott), Alvy Moore (Willie Warren), Pat Conway (Tim Dooley), L.Q. Jones (Watson), Sam Peckinpah (Helicopter Pilot); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Walter Mirisch; Fox Video; 1955)
“The wholesome Midshipmen all look like they were washed in buckets of milk.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A turgid romantic drama directed by Don Siegel (“The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”) that’s set in Annapolis (filmed on location) and plays like a film made for recruitment. The wholesome Midshipmen all look like they were washed in buckets of milk. It’s based on a story by Daniel B. Ullman, who also cowrites the script with Geoffrey Homes. In England it was titled “The Blue and The Gold.”
Brothers Jim and Tony Scott (Kevin McCarthy & John Derek) both attend Annapolis. They both star on the football team, but Tony has poor grades and must pass one course before reinstated to the squad for the big game against Army. With Jim’s tutoring he passes the military course and becomes the game’s hero. When Jim introduces little brother to his main squeeze, college student Peggy Lord (Diana Lynn), he eyeball’s her with envy. The two cadets go on a practice drill and Tony gets hurt, causing him to be sent back to the Naval Academy. There he dates Peg, and she agrees to see him and dump Jim. This causes a brother feud and a love triangle. When they both graduate and together attend Naval flight school in Pensacola and advanced training in Corpus Cristi, they stop rooming together and there’s a chill between them. But they patch things up when they fly together during the Korean War. The film’s climax has Jim going into the drink and a helicopter pilot played by future great director Sam Peckinpah rescues him (Peckinpah was also the dialogue coach). In the hospital Peg visits fallen hero Jim and returns to the fold, as she decides that Jim’s her man after all. The romantic tale couldn’t have been more uninteresting.
REVIEWED ON 1/5/2006 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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