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A theme which was old four years ago when Dick Powell went through the paces of "Flirtation Walk", and which has been used in countless musical spectacles since that time, forms the basis of "Navy Blue and Gold," currently featured at the University Theatre. "Thoroughbreds Don't Cry", the co-feature, also plays upon an ancient theme in a familiar way; one might almost think this was review week at the U. T.
Each film has redeeming features. Dick Powell is not in "Navy Blue and Gold"; Tom Brown is rather funny as he periodically enjoys "the happiest day of his life"; and there is only one spectacular run in the final football game--although Navy wins, of course. "Thoroughbreds Don't Cry" is not a tearjerker; Mickey Rooney does a good bit of acting as the cocky "Click" Donovan; and Judy Garland is very funny as a would-be glamorous actress.
But the good points of these two pictures do not rescue the double bill from mediocrity. "Navy Blue and Gold" drags weefully as it tells the familiar story of a loyal Navy man who is almost dismissed but is pardoned at the last moment just in time to win the annual Army game. James Stewart is the bashful, blushing here, who spends half his time examining his feet in boyish timidity. Robert Young is his roommate who learns to love the glorious traditions of the Navy. Florence Rice is a very weak love interest.
"Thoroughbreds Don't Cry" presents the thrilling spectacle of the weak child hero who rises to the occasion at the crisis, rides his horse to a spectacular victory in the big race, foils the crooks, and converts his wayward jockey friend into a straight shootin', honest guy (tomato"). Ronald Sinclair as the boy-hero is a carbon copy of Freddie Bartholomew, English accent and all.
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