Friday, July 15, 1938
A rare publicity still of Pepito in the role of “Pedro,” a frenetic musician, in the RKO motion picture “Army Girl”, 1938. The star of the film, actor Preston Foster, had recently pledged to help Pepito to launch a Hollywood career. Foster was also a marlin fishing buddy of Pepito’s, and they probably first met when both were in vaudeville in the 1920s. Pepito and Joanne became lifelong friends with Preston and his wife, entertainer Sheila Darcy.
Captain Dike Conger, a tank expert, is assigned to the Thirty-first Cavalry Regiment to determine whether it should convert to the use of small tanks suitable for the desert instead of horses. Accompanied by his cocky mechanic friend, Three Star Hennessy, Dike encounters opposition from most members of the regiment who want to continue using horses. Dike, who considers himself a “ladies’ man,” agrees to go on a blind date arranged by his old friend, Captain Bob Marvin, on the condition that she be a civilian, not an “army girl.” Because of a mistake made by Three Star, however, his date turns out to be Julie Armstrong, daughter of camp commander Colonel Armstrong, who uses the name Lucy May Praxton to break out of her boring, pre-arranged existence. Though he is angered by her deception at first, Dike soon relents, and the two begin to fall in love. Some time later, a contest is held between tanks and horses to determine which is more effective. The tank wins the contest, and the details are forwarded to Washington while the post awaits the government’s decision about the horses. As the weeks pass, Dike and Julie decide to marry, but as Dike is about to tell the colonel, Armstrong reveals that tanks will replace the horses and that Dike will be replacing him as post commander, thus angering Julie, who breaks the engagement. When word reaches Harry Ross, an old-fashioned sergeant and rival of Three Star, he alters a connecting rod in a tank which is to carry Dike and Three Star at the transition ceremony. When, on the day of the ceremony, Ross sees the colonel enter the tank with Three Star instead of Dike, it is too late to stop them, and they are both killed in the wreck. Captain Joe Schuyler, a rival for Julie’s affections, is the first to reach the tank, and hears Three Star’s dying words implicating Ross, but he decides to suppress the information. After a court-martial in which Dike is ruled negligent and responsible for the accident, Schuyler proposes to Julie. When she still refuses him, he realizes that she will never love him and forces the truth out ot Ross before the military judges, thus incriminating Ross and himself, and exonerating Dike. Finally free, Dike and Julie reconcile.
Heritage Auctions, ha.com