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Sunday, June 8, 2008

THE WEST POINT STORY (1950)

On-the-cheap Warners musical sounds like goofy fun (West Point amateur show gets drilled into shape by a tough B’way professional) but finds almost everyone at a career nadir. James Cagney went thru a bad patch in the early ‘50s (here he looks & acts like a stove-top percolator with the top off) and he wouldn’t recover until his next Doris Day pic, the remarkable LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME/’55. A few good numbers can make these things bearable, but on this one, Jules Styne & Sammy Fain couldn’t work up a single memorable tune for the likes of Doris Day, a game Virginia Mayo or the under-rated Gene Nelson. Only a smoothly handsome Gordon MacRae gets to shine, but this is grim doings.

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