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The Duke of West Point

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The Duke of West Point
Directed byAlfred E. Green
Written byGeorge Bruce
Produced byEdward Small
StarringLouis Hayward
Joan Fontaine
Tom Brown
CinematographyRobert H. Planck
Edited byGrant Whytock
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • December 15, 1938 (1938-12-15) (New York City)
Running time
108 min.
CountryUnited States

The Duke of West Point is a 1938 American drama film directed by Alfred E. Green.[1] It was described as "A Yank at Oxford in reverse".[2]


An American diplomat's son, Steven Early, having been educated in England, comes to West Point and enrolls, nicknamed "The Duke" by the others because of his background and bearing.

Steve becomes a scholar and athlete, excelling in ice hockey. His roommates and friends are cadets Sonny Drew and Jack West, and he develops a romantic interest in Ann Porter, angering another cadet who loves her.

When word reaches him that Jack's mother is having trouble with the business and needs help, Steve sneaks off campus after Taps to wire money to her, so that Jack will not have to give up West Point, making her promise not to tell who sent it but to tell Jack that all is well. Caught upon his return, Steve lies as to where he went so that his friend will not find out about the money. The lie is in violation of the Honor Code and results in his being shunned by all other cadets for the next year, given the silent treatment.

Before a big hockey game against a team of cadets from Canada, a serious accident befalls Sonny that leaves him unable to play, with possible permanent damage. Steve wears his friend's jersey and helps West Point win the game, but has made up his mind to submit his resignation as soon as the game ends. But then, the others learn from Jack's mother what Steve did for her and Jack, feeling very guilty, they all welcome him back among them. Steve then becomes engaged to Ann.



This was the first movie Edward Small made back at United Artists after a stint at RKO.[3]

The movie was originally meant to star ice skater Jack Dunn (the story climaxes with an ice hockey game) but the part had to be recast after he died in July 1938, just before production was about to commence.[4][5] Louis Hayward, a friend of Dunn's, was given the lead instead.[6] Edward Small subsequently signed Hayward to a multi-picture deal.[7]

A number of former silent film stars had supporting roles.[8]

The script had approval of West Point.[9] Richard Carlson was borrowed from David O. Selznick and Joan Fontaine was borrowed from RKO. Filming started on September 22, 1938.[10]


Reviews were mixed.[11]


  1. ^ "The Duke of West Point". TCMDB.
  2. ^ "ACTING FOR STAGE AND SCREEN: DIANA WYNYARD ON DEMANDS OF DIFFERENT MEDIUMS". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, Scotland. 11 July 1939. p. 13.
  3. ^ Schallert, Edwin (23 May 1938). ""Christmas Carol" Will Ring Out Ere Yuletide: "Beau Brummell" Slated Wanger-Dieterle Deal Donat Signs for Term Hope Hampton Records". Los Angeles Times. p. A14.
  4. ^ Schallert, Edwin (22 July 1938). "Producer Will Seek Successor to Dunn: French Player to Sign Beery to Go Romantic Beverly Roberts Cast Fitzgerald Assigned". Los Angeles Times. p. 15.
  5. ^ "HIGHLIGHTING THE WEEK'S NEWS". New York Times. 19 June 1938. p. 3.
  6. ^ Schallert, Edwin (7 Sep 1938). "Hayward to Portray 'Duke of West Point': Swarthout at Warners Lorna Lynn Contracted 'Musketeers' Cast Set Build-up for Garfield". Los Angeles Times. p. A16.
  7. ^ Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. (1 Nov 1938). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Louis Hayward to Play Lead in 'Man in the Iron Mask' for United Artists OPENING AT CONTINENTAL ' The Singing Blacksmith,' New Yiddish Picture, Will Begin Engagement Today Casting for "Hotel Imperial" Coast Scripts Of Local Origin". New York Times. p. 27.
  8. ^ "'The Duke of West Point' Reflects Academy Spirit: An Able Cast Makes Service Romance Seem Real; 'Movie Quiz Contest' Entries Hit High Mark; News Notes and Gossip of the Theater". The Washington Post. 4 Jan 1939. p. 14.
  9. ^ DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL (13 Nov 1938). "OUT AGAIN IN AGAIN CORRIGAN: Once Icy Toward Press He Thaws Out for Dear Old RKOJosef Von Sternberg Against the Gods". New York Times. p. 5.
  10. ^ Schallert, Edwin (22 Sep 1938). "Political Subject Next on Capra Slate: 'Career Man' Planned Sheehan May Sign Janet Woods Back in Films 'West Point' Cast Set". Los Angeles Times. p. 19.
  11. ^ FRANK S. NUGENT (16 Dec 1938). "THE SCREEN: The Navy Will Approve 'Duke of West Point' at the Music Hall--'Comet Over Broadway' at Palace At the Palace". New York Times. p. 33.
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The Duke of West Point
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