Military Academy would seem to have been an attempt by Columbia Pictures to match the success of the "Dead End Kids" pictures; indeed, one of the stars is former Dead Ender (and future East Side Kid) Bobby Jordan. The story zeroes in on Tommy Lewis (Tommy Kelly, previously the star of Selznick's Adventures of Tom Sawyer), a gangster's son who bids fair to follow in his father's soiled footsteps. Tommy is saved from this fate when he is bundled off to a military school, where after undergoing the traditional hazing process distinguishes himself as an athlete and scholar. Exposed as the offspring of a notorious criminal, Tommy faces ostracization, but he not only redeems himself but also rehabilitates classmate Dick Hill (Jordan), the insufferably arrogant son of the school's commanding officer. Much of Military Academy was filmed at California's Black Fox Academy, with headmaster Earl Foxe, himself a veteran screen actor, playing an important supporting role.
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