Monday, February 02, 2009

Tonight's Movie: Annapolis Salute (1937)

ANNAPOLIS SALUTE is a short and sweet little RKO programmer about romance at the Naval Academy, elevated by a strong cast.

Midshipmen Bill Martin (James Ellison) and Clay Parker (Van Heflin) are competing for the hand of lovely Julia (Marsha Hunt), sister of one of their classmates (Arthur Lake of BLONDIE). Bill's father (Harry Carey Sr.), a Navy enlisted man, worries about romance distracting his son from his goal of becoming an officer.

That's about all there is to this 65-minute movie. The script isn't particularly good, there are back projections galore, and I'm not sure if Julia wore the same dress on different days because her character didn't pack many wardrobe changes for her visit to Annapolis or the producers were saving money (I suspect the latter).

Nonetheless, it's hard not to enjoy spending time with the pros in this cast. Van Heflin could probably read the telephone book and make it interesting, and Hunt and Carey are likewise always enjoyable. Ellison is fine in the lead role, but it's the rest of the cast that really makes the movie worth seeing.

Five years later Heflin and Hunt were reunited in the excellent MGM B movie KID GLOVE KILLER (reviewed here), an interesting police procedural in which they played criminologists. The same year KID GLOVE KILLER was released they also appeared together in SEVEN SWEETHEARTS.

ANNAPOLIS SALUTE was directed by Christy Cabanne, who also wrote the story. In Britain the film was shown under the title SALUTE TO ROMANCE.

ANNAPOLIS SALUTE has not been released on video or DVD, but can be seen on Turner Classic Movies.

August 2018 Update: ANNAPOLIS SALUTE will be released on DVD by the Warner Archive in September 2018.

October 2018 Update: My review of the Warner Archive DVD may be found here.


Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

"Van Heflin could probably read the telephone book and make it interesting."

I agree.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Glad to know there's another Van Heflin fan out there. :)

Best wishes,

8:40 PM  

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