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Flirtation Walk

(1934 b 98')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A general's daughter falls in love with a crooning private, who goes to West Point to become an officer in this pro-military musical.

This film dedicated to West Point begins with military maneuvers at Hawaii. Sergeant Scrappy Thornhill (Pat O'Brien) hits private Dick Dorcey (Dick Powell) in the nose for talking back. General Fitts (Henry O'Neill) arrives with his daughter Kit (Ruby Keeler). Driver Dorcey spills her luggage, and she orders him to take her to a luau, where he sings a Hawaiian song, and they lay under the moon. Lieutenant Biddle (John Eldredge) and Scrappy find them and take Kit back to the post. Faced with court martial, Dick tells Scrappy he is deserting. Scrappy tells Kit, and she tells Dick to forget everything, writing to Lt. Biddle to let him off. Scrappy asks Dick to go to China with him as a corporal, but he applies to West Point instead.

Dick is given a hard time as a plebe and recites the definition of leather. He writes to Scrappy and becomes a regimental commander but denies knowing Kit. Dick is directing a show, and the committee asks General Fitts to put Kit in the show. She agrees, and Dick rewrites the comedy for her. Kit and Dick talk on flirtation walk, and he tells her she only loves herself. "Femme Trouble" is performed with Kit as General Why Not. She orders Oscar (Ross Alexander) as Lt. Quibble there will be less discipline, and she listens to complaints. The men sing that they get no reward - "no horse, no wife, no mustache." She sets a wedding day and orders the commander Dick to marry her. At the wedding Dick sings "Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name." Dick and Kit sing "Flirtation Walk" and kiss under kissing rock. He asks her if she loves him, and she says she does.

General Fitts announces the engagement of Kit and Lt. Biddle. Dick visits Kit after taps, saying he won't let her marry him. Biddle catches Dick, and to avoid a court martial Dick resigns. Scrappy finds Dick, who says he could have been an officer but not a gentleman. Biddle comes and tells Dick his resignation was not accepted, because he learned that Kit loves Dick. In the final scene the cadets march under commander Dorcey, while Kit and Scrappy watch.

Approved by the Hayes commission, this musical limits its satire to a flirtation with the idea of a woman general ordering weddings; but she is soon reversed by a telegram from Washington and finds her "place in the home."

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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