Touchdown, Army


60m 1938

Brief Synopsis

Prep football star Jimmy Howal(Robert Cummings)gets a reception far different from what he expected when he enters West Point. His cocky attitude earns him the enmity of many upperclassmen, especially hot-tempered southerner Brandon Culpepper (John Howard), who also sees Howal as a rival for beautiful Toni Denby (Mary Carlisle), daughter of West Point officer Colonel Denby (Minor Watson.) Just before the Army-Navy football game, Howals' name is posted as failing French, and the cadets fear he will be kept from playing because of it. (The Paramount writers overlooked the fact that since Howal was a plebe nee freshman student, he couldn't have played anyway as freshman weren't eligible for the varsity in this period.) Toni agrees to tutor Howal, but she, unknowingly, uses an old examination which Is the basis for the new test. Howal realizes what has happened when he passes the exam with flying colors, and suspects Toni of having set out to make a fool of him.

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 7, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Football halfback Jimmy Howal gets into West Point with the help of his political connections in New York and quickly racks up numerous demerits for his insubordinate behavior and his cocky attitude. Although a "plebe," Jimmy competes with Brandon Culpepper, an upperclassman and quarterback from the South, for Major Denby's blonde daughter Toni. Culpepper is noted for his re-telling of the Battle of Shiloh, a victory for which his great grandfather, a Confederate general, was responsible. When Culpepper finds Jimmy off-limits with Toni, he ridicules him in front of his classmates in the mess hall. The underclassmen led by Jimmy and the upperclassmen led by Culpepper compete on the football field, where Jimmy proves his athletic skills. Jimmy and Culpepper's rivalry continues into Jimmy's second year, at which time he is made a regular on the football team. Jimmy has his friend, Bob Haskins, come to a West Point party dressed as the Confederate trumpeter from General Culpepper's Brigade. Using cadets and Major Denby, Haskins stages a false version of the Battle of Shiloh, portraying a valiant soldier who refused to sound the retreat that General Culpepper had ordered. Culpepper is thoroughly humiliated, but as Haskins leaves, his disguise comes off, and Toni kicks Jimmy out of the party for his tomfoolery. Soon Jimmy and Culpepper are scheduled to star in the Army-Navy game, but in order to play, Jimmy must pass a French midterm. Toni's cousin Kirk begs her to tutor Jimmy in French and she agrees. Jimmy passes the test, but notices it was a near replica of the test Toni used to coach him and concludes that Toni is testing his honor. Jimmy confesses to the board that he knew all the answers before the test, but refuses to divulge Toni's name and is suspended. At the Army-Navy game, when Toni realizes Jimmy is not in the starting lineup, she explains the situation to her father, the French professor, who reveals that he gave Jimmy the same quiz she had used for tutoring. As the game progresses and Army is losing badly, Toni convinces Superintendent Smith to fly Jimmy to the stadium. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Jimmy arrives on the field where Culpepper is running the wrong way with the ball. After Jimmy sounds the Rebel call, Culpepper turns around and passes to Jimmy, who scores the winning touchdown for Army. He then kisses Toni.

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 7, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film was one of the "Movie Quiz $250,000 Contest" pictures. No additional information on this contest has been located. The Hollywood Reporter production chart for the first day of shooting lists Lew Ayres and Roscoe Karns as cast members and Henry Sharpe [sic] as photographer, although none of them participated in the final film. Later production charts add John Arledge to the cast, but it is unclear whether or not he was in the final film.