Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Frank Borzage|
|Produced by||Robert Lord|
|Written by||Delmer Daves
Lou Edelman (Original Story)
|Music by||Allie Wrubel
|Edited by||William Holmes
William Phelan (Assistant Editor)
|Distributed by||First National Picture, Incorporated
The Vitaphone Corporation
Flirtation Walk is a 1934 romantic musical film written by Delmer Daves and Lou Edelman, and directed by Frank Borzage. It focuses on a soldier (Dick Powell) who falls in love with a general's daughter (Ruby Keeler) during the general's brief stop in Hawaii, but she leaves with her father for the Philippines before their relationship can blossom. They are re-united several years later when the soldier is about to graduate from West Point and the general becomes the Academy's Commandant.
Richard Palmer Grant Dorcy, known as "Canary," (Powell) is an enlisted man in the United States Army. Stationed in the Hawaiian Islands, he has an friendly but argumentative relationship with his sergeant, Scrapper Thornhill (Pat O'Brien). Although he hates taking orders, Dick has no intention of becoming an officer. When General Fitts (Henry O'Neill) arrives at the base with his daughter Kit (Keeler), Dick is assigned to drive her to the reception that evening. Falling victim to the moonlit night, Kit and Dick miss the reception and attend a native luau instead. They are discovered in each other's arms by Lieutenant Biddle (John Eldredge), who is also in love with Kit. Biddle blames Dick for ruining Kit's reputation and Dick decides to desert. Scrapper begs Kit to straighten things out with Biddle.
To prevent Dick from deserting, Kit tells him that she is not in love with him, but was responding to a crazy impulse. Stung by her words, Dick decides to compete with Biddle as an equal and applies for West Point. He is accepted and does very well, to Scrapper's delight. In Dick's First Class "year, General Fitts is appointed West Point superintendent. While most of the men are infatuated with Kit, Dick is cold to her. Consequently, he is not very happy when the rest of the men insist that she participate in the traditional "Hundredth Night" theatrical performance.
Dick writes a show about a female general with a message directed at Kit. After the first rehearsal, Kit walks with Dick on Flirtation Walk and tries to explain why she told him she was not in love with him. Dick is too angry to listen to Kit but, during their on-stage love scene, kisses her, and she admits she loves him. When General Fitts announces Kit's engagement to Biddle, Dick naturally is confused, and visits her after lights out to talk her out of marrying Biddle. He is caught and, to protect Kit's name, agrees to resign from the Academy. Scrapper arrives at the Academy to see Dick graduate and is disappointed to learn of his resignation. The day is saved when Biddle tells Dick that his resignation was not accepted and that Kit returned his ring. Dick graduates a happy man.
- Dick Powell - Richard "Canary" Palmer Grant Dorcy
- Ruby Keeler - Kit Fitts
- Pat O'Brien - Scrapper Thornhill
- Ross Alexander - Oskie
- John Arledge - Spike
- John Eldredge - Lieutenant Biddle
- Henry O'Neill - General Fitts
- Guinn Williams - Sleepy
- Frederick Burton - General Landacre
- John Darrow - Chase
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The New York Times review reports that many scenes were actually shot at West Point. According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Bobby Connolly started shooting the Hawaiian number on July 3, 1934 on the biggest set ever constructed at Warner Bros. studios. He was scheduled to finish on July 10, at which time he would start the military wedding number using over 400 professional dancers. The success of the film led Warner Brothers to combine Powell, Keeler, Alexander and Arledge again with Borzage and Daves under similar circumstances of plot and character to make Shipmates Forever, a film about the United States Naval Academy, the following year.
- "Flirtation Walk"
- "I See Two Lovers"
- "Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name"
- "When Do We Eat?"
- "Smoking in the Dark"
- "No Horse, No Wife, No Mustache"
- "The 7th Academy Awards (1935) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-07.