Flirtation Walk (1934)

Dick “Canary” Dorcy (Dick Powell) is an Army man, stationed in Hawaii. He isn’t exactly a model soldier.

(Image via cinemagia.ro)

(Image via cinemagia.ro)

Resistant to taking orders, Dick often finds himself arguing with his sergeant (Pat O’Brien), who says he should go to West Point and learn to give orders if he’s so unwilling to take them. There may be something to the sergeant’s point, but Dick has no real desire to become an officer.

When a General arrives in Hawaii with his daughter Kit (Ruby Keeler), Dick is assigned to drive Kit to a reception. The assignment seems simple, but under the romantic Hawaiian moonlight, the two diverge from the planned reception, instead attending a luau.

Soon enough, Dick and Kit find themselves falling in love. But their luau adventure violated protocol, and to make matters even more complicated, another man is in love with Kit, too!

Flirtation Walk was directed by Frank Borzage. The screenplay was written by Delmer Daves, from a story by Daves and Lou Edelman.

There are few screen pairs more delightful and sweet than Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. Tuning into any one of their films, the viewer is guaranteed an adorable romance, accompanied by lovely songs. Flirtation Walk is less lavish than the pair’s glitzy, Broadway-centric Busby Berkeley pictures, but it’s every bit as enjoyable.

Accompanying the romance are some silly moments of military comedy. Nearly as much screen time is devoted to Dick’s progression in the army as is dedicated to the romance, and Dick’s journey has many amusing moments.

(Image via allmovie.com)

(Image via allmovie.com)

One gag involves Dick practicing the proper, rigid way of standing in formation, including pulling his chin in. Once in formation, his superior prompts him to pull his chin in further and further, leaving Powell with multiple chins and a goofy expression.

The film is a breezy one, light in mood and packing very few surprises in its plot. As a result it isn’t particularly memorable, save for a few catchy tunes and nicely-staged, large-scale West Point marching scenes, but it’s still good enough to be worthy of a watch. The score: 3.5/5

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