The Blue and Gold1955
An Annapolis Story (alternative titles: The Blue and Gold and Navy Air Patrol) is a 1955 American drama film directed by Don Siegel and starring John Derek, Diana Lynn and Kevin McCarthy.A product of the newly formed Allied Artists company, An Annapolis Story, despite having the "Siegel Touch", suffered from its low budget.
Brothers Tony (John Derek) and Jim Scott (Kevin McCarthy) enroll as midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Jim, the older one, looks after the more impulsive Tony and helps him pass a difficult test so he can play football in the big Army-Navy game. The game, however, shows that Tony cannot follow the coach's directions and gets benched. After the game, Jim introduces his brother to his longtime girlfriend, Peggy Lord (Diana Lynn), and a rivalry soon develops over her affections.
With the Korean War looming on the horizon, during training, Jim and Tony are assigned to the same aircraft carrier. Jim continues to look out for his younger brother, even risking his own life. During a maneuver at sea involving helicopter and naval jets, Tony's aircraft plummets off the deck in an aborted takeoff and he is knocked unconscious. Jim dives from a helicopter into the sea to rescue his brother.
When Tony is sent to the Naval Academy hospital to recuperate, he resumes courting Peggy and asks her to marry him. Peggy turns him down and is torn between the two brothers because Jim had already asked her to marry, and she had put him off until after the Korean War is over.
After graduation, the two brothers are no longer close. As they begin advance training as jet pilots at the Pensacola Naval Station, Tony attempts to patch up the relationship, but Jim rebuffs him. Assigned to an aircraft carrier overseas, Tony and Jim end up on leave in Tokyo, where Tony meets Peggy, who tells him that it is Jim whom she really loves. He finally accepts the situation, and when he has the chance to make amends, Tony not only rescues his older brother during a dangerous mission, but also courageously fights off an enemy fighter during the rescue attempt. Checking on his wounded brother, he sees Peggy is there already and that Jim and Peggy will be happy together.
When director Don Siegel was assigned the project, An Annapolis Story was to be shot "on the cheap", with directions to use as much stock footage as possible. Hampered by budgetary constraints and even a minor rebellion from star John Derek, who insisted on switching roles with Kevin McCarthy at the last moment, Siegel made a number of compromises, using his former background as an editor for major studios to advantage.[Note 2]
Siegel, as a freelance director, was able to sell his working approach of bringing in productions on a tight budget. He would plan out scenes meticulously and worked quickly getting the exact shots he wanted, with very few extra takes. With An Annapolis Story, the Siegel touch began with a finalized script, principal photography matched carefully to stock footage and a product that came in on budget and on time.
Rarely considered one of Don Siegel's significant films, An Annapolis Story received mildly positive reviews. Hal Erickson commented: "The faces are new and the settings up-to-date, but otherwise An Annapolis Story is the tried-and-true 'two guys and one girl' formula. ... the story centers upon two sibling cadets, Tony (John Derek) and Jim (Kevin McCarthy). The boys battle over the affections of Peggy (Diana Lynn), a triangle that seriously strains their fraternal relationship and compromises their effectiveness as officers-to-be and gentlemen. In the tradition of 1927's Wings, the conflict is resolved ..."
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