Among those who are fighting to have Congress re-establish the military academy at West Point in the beginning of the nineteenth century is a young Washington socialite, Carolyn Bainbridge. Congress resolves to revive the Academy on a one-year trial basis. Major Sam Carter, a martinet who doesn’t believe a college can produce real fighting men, is made the Commandant, and determines to make soldiers – or failures – out of the small band of cadets, by enforcing stringent disciplinary action. Among the cadets are Howard Shelton, Carolyn’s fiancée, and Dawson, a Kentucky frontiersman. There is bad blood between the two from the start, and matters are worsened when Dawson falls in love with Carolyn. Many of the cadets resign, under the discouraging conditions and grueling punishment that is part of Carter’s plan to make the school hard and the exercises difficult, and the number of cadets left is down to ten… —IMDb
The archetypal studio professional, Hathaway began working in films before the industry had settled in Hollywood. During his 40-year career he directed over 60 features (including Paramount’s first Technicolor picture, “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine” 1936), became a pioneer of location shooting, and developed a reputation as a technically accomplished, reliable entertainer. He later bemoaned the familiar and unjust tag of “genial hack” which he had earned, he said, because of his reluctance to indulge in personal promotion. Certainly, though, the director of such fine and craftsmanlike action films like “The Lives of a Bengal Lancer” (1935), “Souls at Sea” (1937) and “Spawn of the North” (1938), as well as the atypical but hauntingly surreal love story “Peter Ibbetson” (1935), deserves more critical respect.
Hathaway began his career in San Diego, as a child actor in one-reelers directed by Allan Dwan, before moving to Hollywood with his actress mother. Both worked for T.H… read more