West Point of the Air, 1935, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Tuesday, May 17 at 12 noon. est. Closed captioned. This is one of Robert Taylor’s earliest films and he has a very small part. However, any Taylor purist should see this.
Wallace Beery and Lewis Stone have both risen as far as they can in the Army, Stone’s a general and Beery a top sergeant. Since Stone has a daughter who grows up to be Maureen O’Sullivan and girls did not aspire to such strictly male things as a military career back in the day, both old guys hope that Robert Young who is Beery’s son succeeds.
Young as Beery’s son gets a legacy appointment to West Point in West Point of the Air and upon graduation joins the Army Air Corps. Can he measure up is the burning question.
Wallace Beery adds to his repertoire of scene stealing old codgers again in this film. Imagine Judge Hardy in the military and you’ve got Lewis Stone’s performance. Between the two of them they make West Point of the Air passably good entertainment.
Though Robert Young and Maureen O’Sullivan are the two young leads, MGM was giving some exposure to two of its younger contract players who went on to have bigger careers than the leads. Rosalind Russell plays the typical bad girl divorcée who seduces Young and move him from the straight and narrow path of duty. She’s good, but no trace of the sparkling Roz of The Women or His Girl Friday.
And Robert Taylor has a small role as another of the young flying cadets with Young. One look at him and you knew that man was going to be a star and he has a death scene that I’m sure made a lot in the audience write to MGM and ask who this handsome devil was.
West Point of the Air was nice, but nothing terribly special except as a training ground for future stars. Review by bkognbing from Buffalo, NY.